A NASCAR engine has little relevance to the engines that are being produced nowadays. Still, Ford is leveraging technology in passenger vehicles that were learned through its stock car program. According to Dave Simon, one of the first big things that came out of NASCAR when it comes to tech transfer back to road cars is the analytical model. He added that they used to take models built for production cars, running 6,000 rpm and then apply that to a 9,000 rpm race engine. That ought to make it go faster and have more power.
Nevertheless, they eventually had to change the methodology as the models didn’t really work well at first. That methodology is still applied at Ford Motor Company when developing high performance engines. The path to transfer technology between road and race is much more streamlined now.
Racing may be giving back to the production side but, it still is a two-way opportunity for the road car engineering teams to solve some racing problems. The technology transfer did help them a lot.
The DP program continued on in 2013, when they started paying attention to head sealing. Samon says that everything they have gathered they shared it with the guys at the GT race program. Together, they ended up making some changes to the head sealing methodology as well.
The problem was that the GT race engine program was developed under less favorable conditions – a nightmare for any engineer. They had to define the operating range without having a car at their disposal. That’s why they turned to Ford’s high-powered driving simulator. Using this thing they could at least narrow down the operating range without a car.
Thanks to the precision of the engineers and the data that was gathered, everything turned out great given the positive result the tech transfer brought.