The 2017 Raptor’s Racing Debut Demonstrates Why Ford Goes Racing – Better Products for You
Ford Performance has been making a lot of racing news lately. First, their Ford GT Chip Ganassi cars debuted for the first time in 50 years at the Rolex 24 hour race at Daytona. While they had some gearbox issues, both cars finished. This past weekend, the 2017 Ford Raptor went racing as part of the Best in the Desert race, but was unfortunately knocked out of the race due to electrical issues. But this, folks, is why Ford goes racing.
Friend and colleague Patrick Rall, writing at Torque News, talks about how the Raptor hit some electrical problems on lap two of the race. For those who might not know, each lap is 143 miles long. So a two lap race can take a bit of time. Also, it’s enough time for problems to come to light.
For the record, the issues that plagued the Raptor were NOT related to the 10-speed automatic transmission. With the Ford GTs having transmission issues at the Rolex, some people online started to assume that they were potentially related. They are not.
While it’s unfortunate that the Raptor wasn’t able to finish in its racing debut, this is the reason why Ford goes racing. Why is the Ford GT on the race track now? Why is the Raptor racing now? To work out bugs. To find kinks in the armor. To make sure it can handle everything a customer can throw at it.
Ford’s Rolex debut was pretty solid considering it was a brand new car, but they’ll soon have the transmission issues figured out, which will make a better street car.
It’s also fantastic news that the problems with the Raptor when racing were electrical and not mechanical. Fixing a few lines of computer code, or rewiring a system is far easier to get right then completely redesigning a transmission from scratch. It’s a good sign that the truck is mostly ready-to-go, even if that customer wants to run off-road right off the dealership lot.
While I’m sure many people on the Ford Performance racing team would go racing regardless, it’s less likely the company would spend so much money doing it, if they didn’t have things that they can learn and apply to their street cars.
At a dinner the night before the Rolex 24, some of the folks from Ford Performance were telling us how the street car team is constantly conferring with the race car team to see what is working in each application. This extremely close collaboration will make the street cars even better, and make the racing teams more dominant as the season progresses.
One thing we know for sure about both the racing Raptor and the racing Ford GTs; they’re fast. Once these tiny issues are worked out, these vehicles are going to be serious contenders for victory.
Which, of course, makes the production version of the cars even better. I seriously can’t wait to drive the new Raptor. Bring it on!
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via [Torque News]