NBC Sports Surrounds 57th Running Of Rolex 24 At DAytona With 17 Of Its IMSA, NASCAR And IndyCar Commentators, All on Site17 Jan 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Over the course of 24 hours, NBC Sports will utilize 17 of its IMSA, NASCAR, and INDYCAR commentators, analysts and reporters on-site for its inaugural presentation of the 57th running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona from Daytona International Speedway starting Saturday, Jan. 26 at 2 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Beginning this season, NBC Sports is the exclusive home of the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA).
Continuous 24-hour coverage from the iconic Daytona International Speedway will feature a rotating cast of commentators, analysts and reporters, headlined by NBC Sports’ lead IMSA commentating team of play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey, former Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger (analyst), and former IMSA GT driver and analyst Calvin Fish (analyst).
“There is no better spectacle in U.S. racing over a 24-hour period than this event with these drivers, who have incredible storylines,” said Sam Flood, Executive Producer and President of Production, NBC Sports. “From the all-female IMSA team to Alex Zanardi racing on U.S. soil again to our very commentators driving in the race, we couldn’t ask for a better way to launch our partnership with IMSA.”
NASCAR legend-turned analyst Dale Earnhardt Jr. joins analyst Steve Letarte and host Krista Voda inside the “Peacock Pit Box,” a state-of-the-art remote studio set designed to bring viewers closer to the action. Built within a traditional pit box frame, the “Peacock Pit Box” will be set up along pit road.
An additional broadcast booth comprised of NASCAR on NBC lead announcer Rick Allen, INDYCAR on NBC analysts Paul Tracy and Townsend Bell, and Brian Till will be featured throughout the weekend. Bell will compete in all rounds of the upcoming IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship, while Allmendinger will participate in IMSA’s endurance races. Both will race in the Rolex 24.
NASCAR on NBC reporters Marty Snider, Dave Burns, Kelli Stavast and Parker Kligerman will join INDYCAR on NBC reporters Kevin Lee and Jon Beekhuis to share in pit road duties. In addition, Rutledge Wood will showcase stories around the Daytona International Speedway.
The following is a snapshot of NBC Sports’ on-site commentating coverage from Daytona:
|Time (ET)||Platform||Commentators||Pit Crew||“Peacock Pit Box”|
|2 – 5 p.m.||NBCSN||Diffey, Fish & Allmendinger||Snider, Burns & Stavast||Voda, Letarte, Earnhardt & Bell|
|5 – 9 p.m.||NBC Sports App||Allen, Tracy, Bell & Till||Beekhuis, Lee & Parker||Voda|
|9 p.m. – 12 a.m.||NBCSN||Diffey, Fish, Allmendinger & Till||Snider, Burns & Stavast||Voda, Letarte & Earnhardt|
|12 – 3 a.m.||NBCSN||Allen, Tracy & Till||Beekhuis, Lee & Parker||N/A|
|6 – 9 a.m.||NBCSN||Diffey & Fish||Snider & Burns||N/A|
|9 a.m. – 12 p.m.||NBCSN||Allen, Tracy, Allmendinger & Bell||Beekhuis, Lee & Parker||Voda, Letarte & Earnhardt|
|12 – 3 p.m.||NBCSN||Diffey, Fish, Allmendinger & Bell||Snider, Burns & Stavast||Voda, Letarte & Earnhardt|
*Subject to change
Coverage from Daytona begins Thursday, Jan. 24, with a special IMSA preview show, which features a sit-down interview with driver and Paralympian Alex Zanardi, who is scheduled to race in the Rolex 24. In 2001, Zanardi lost both of his legs in an accident at EuroSpeedway Lausitz in Klettwitz, Germany, and has since gone on to win two Paralympic gold medals in Para-cycling, most recently at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
Additionally, Earnhardt Jr. recounts racing the 2001 Rolex 24 with his late father, when the two split time driving the No. 3 Corvette C5-R as part of an interview with NBCSports.com lead motorsports writer Nate Ryan. Thursday’s coverage continues with live qualifying from 3-5 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Ryan will lead extensive digital coverage throughout the week on MotorSportsTalk, NBCSports.com’s vertical dedicated to open-wheel and sports car racing.
IMSA ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the 2019 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Series via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV and Amazon Fire.
NBC Sports PR
Jefferson Pitts Racing (JPR), a Washington-based NASCAR driver development team that has focused primarily on competition in the K&N Pro Series East and West divisions since their inception in 2015, will be expanding its efforts and involvement in their super late model driver development program and will also be a part of the new California Challenge Cup Series at Madera Speedway in 2019.
The team will continue to compete in select NASCAR K&N Pro Series events, but the decision to place more focus on the late model division was born out of the realization that drivers seeking a career in NASCAR should begin to have the kind of training and development that team owners Jeff Jefferson and Jerry Pitts are known for being able to provide. The California Challenge Cup Series provides another option to incorporate into that section of the driver development ladder.
“We believe that the late model level is the true starting point for young drivers coming out of entry-level divisions such as legends cars or micro-sprints who have aspirations of a professional racing career in the top levels of NASCAR,” Jefferson said. “We will offer a full season package of between 8 and 12 races for drivers that will focus on both personal development and race performance. The package price will depend upon the series that the driver chooses. We value the development program that we offer, and we want drivers who fit our goals as a team and who are passionate enough about their racing careers to want to challenge themselves to be the best they can be, and we believe starting them earlier with us gives us more time to prepare them for the heavier stock car step.”
Pitts added that an advance package is available that will add two K&N Pro Series races, one on an oval track and the other on a road course. “We are not abandoning our K&N program by any means,” he clarified. “We earned two wins, nine top five and 22 top ten finishes competing in partial schedules in both K&N Series last year with a variety of drivers, and we enjoy competing in that series. We just believe that offering a stronger program in late models allows us to be more valuable to a wider market of young competitors and gives us that extra time with them to help them develop their skill set before taking them to the K&N Pro Series level.”
The team will also be prepared to compete in the newly formed California Challenge Cup Series, which will race at Madera Speedway in California beginning this season with a six-race schedule airing on MAVtv. "The California Challenge Cup Series is an opportunity for young race car drivers to race in NASCAR-style race cars (cars with truck arm suspension) providing a fast-track in gaining experience to progress to the NASCAR K&N Pro Series,” Jefferson explained. “It really provides a cost-effective opportunity for drivers at that level because there are a ton of cars out there that can be bought relatively inexpensively, and the series will use a spec tire to keep the field balanced. We believe there’s a place for this type of series in our driver development ladder and we’re excited to have that option for those clients who want it or for whom we feel it would be helpful.”
JPR has signed its first driver to the super late model program for this season. Bryce Bezanson, a 16-year-old Washington racer with a background in micro sprints and quarter-midgets, will compete in NASCAR Whelen All-American Series events at Evergreen Speedway and select regional events throughout the season, his first in a full-bodied stock car on pavement. Pitts is looking forward to working with Bezanson, who showed strong speed and coach-ability in a test session late in 2018.
"We are looking forward to working with Bryce at Evergreen Speedway in the Super Late Model Series this year,” he said. “It's an opportunity to help him develop his race craft as well as a chance for us to expand JPR's Super Late Model program.”
The lives of countless individuals in the local communities benefitted thanks to the contributions by Michigan International Speedway, MIS Cares and Americrown in 2018. The giving will carry on in 2019 as the track continues to make a difference in the area.
MIS and its sister company Americrown combined to donate a total of $1,022,097 to local service groups and organizations through cash donations, in-kind donations, work programs, grants and sponsorships, as well as tickets and merchandise that clubs raffled to raise money.
“We are proud to give back to so many great organizations in the area,” track president Rick Brenner said. “We continue to look for ways to create opportunities to give back and make an impact throughout the region. We are already looking forward to 2019 and all the great things we have planned to continue to make a difference.”
In June, Michigan International Speedway hosted the inaugural MIS Charity Dinner presented by Consumers Energy during the FireKeepers Casino 400 weekend. Fans were able to stroll back in time looking at cars from throughout the decades that once raced on the two-mile oval and listen to stories from hall of famers. The MIS Charity Dinner presented by Consumers Energy raised $29,434.99 during the evening. The proceeds benefitted both the Henry Ford Allegiance Health Foundation Patient Immediate Needs Fund and the MIS Cares Fund.
MIS Cares, the speedway’s charity arm, awarded $85,000 in grants to 19 deserving organizations to improve the local communities. All of these deserving recipients share the MIS Cares mission to assist and inspire youth in Jackson and Lenawee counties.
- Associated Charities of Lenawee County – Back to School Program 2019
- Community Learning Connections – Ruling Our eXperiences (ROX) Girl Empowerment Mother – Daughter Workshop
- Concord Food for Thought – Weekend Backpack Program
- Diuble Family Vision – WHIP Warning Hearing Impaired People
- Habitat for Humanity of Lenawee County – The Great Pasty Project
- I92 Ministries Inc. – I92 Weekend Backpack Meal Packs
- Jackson Symphony Orchestra – Creative Outlets and Inclusion
- Jasmynn’s Voice – Helping others find their voice, one iPad at a time
- Junior Achievement of the Michigan Edge, Inc. – JA CEO Challenge
- Lenawee Community Foundation – Lenawee Imagination Library
- Northwest High School Communication Arts Project – Broadening Horizons, Expanding Options
- Rise Above – Expand Impact
- Sacred Heart Catholic School – Replace 10 Chromebook Laptop Computers
- Save Our Youth / Help Them Prosper – After-School Mentoring Program
- Square One Education Network – Master of Mobility
- The Shop Rat Foundation – Manufacturing 2 U
- Therapeutic Riding, Inc. – Adopt a Horse
- YMCA of Lenawee County – Maple Pride Afterschool Program
- Adrian College – Track and Explore
Michigan International Speedway, on behalf of Toyota, Chevrolet and Ford, donated $40,000 to a youth-focused and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)-related charity in Michigan. The trophy is a recognition and celebration of the automobile and its importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. As part of the Michigan Heritage, each contending manufacturer and MIS annually commit $10,000 to be donated.
The track held its 10th annual MIS Cares Charity Track and Toy Drive on Dec. 1. Guests were able to drop off a new, unwrapped toy or a bag of nonperishable food. Thanks to the generous support of the community, the track was able to donate food to the Brooklyn Food Pantry in Brooklyn, Michigan and the St. Mary’s of Good Counsel Food Pantry in Adrian, Michigan. In addition the toys collected were able to help the U.S. Marines Toys for Tots in both Jackson and Lenawee Counties.
During the month of December, MIS Cares and the speedway continued to spread holiday cheer to local schools. This year five $1,000 grants were awarded to further the education of local students. Recipients included:
- Felician Children’s Center Preschool – STEM Learning through mud science
- Lumen Christi High School – Lumen Christi HPL
- Michigan Center Junior/Senior High School – FIRST Robotics Program
- St. John the Evangelist Elementary – Next Generation Science Standards
- Western High School – STEAM CrossBraining
As part of the track’s ongoing initiative to promote learning among students at all educational levels, MIS Cares will award at least 10 scholarships in 2019. The scholarship is open to any graduating senior in Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee and Washtenaw Counties who is entering a STEAM-related (science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics) field at a college, university or trade school in the state of Michigan.
Chicagoland Speedway announced today that Camping World, the nation’s largest network of RV-centric retail locations, and the Official RV and Outdoor Retailer of NASCAR, will serve as the entitlement sponsor for this year’s ultimate summer NASCAR festival June 28-30.
The three NASCAR National Series races at Chicagoland Speedway will officially be known as the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Camping World 225, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Camping World 300 and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camping World 400.
“We are thrilled to continue our partnership with the highly respected Camping World brand in 2019,” said Chicagoland Speedway President Scott Paddock. “Camping World is the perfect fit for our fans as they look to make the most of four action-packed days of racing and camping at The Magnificent Mile and Half.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Chicagoland Speedway will take place in June as part of the four-race weekend June 27 – June 30. The weekend will kick off on Thursday, June 27 with the ARCA Racing Series followed by NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Camping World 225 under the lights on Friday night. On Saturday, the NASCAR Xfinity Series Camping World 300 will hit the track as the precursor to Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Camping World 400 showdown.
To purchase tickets to any 2019 Chicagoland Speedway event, visit us online at www.ChicagolandSpeedway.com, call 888-629-RACE (7223), download the Chicagoland Speedway mobile app, visit the Chicagoland Speedway Administrative office or stop by the box office on the day of the event.
Construction Underway for New Premium Infield RV Area Near Talladega Superspeedway’s Start-Finish Line17 Jan 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
Construction has begun for Talladega Superspeedway’s new Finish Line Premium RV area, located just past the start-finish line near the entrance to Turn 1, where fans have a bird’s-eye view to experience the thrill of the track’s wild checkered flag finishes from the comfort of their RV. Fans have already made a statement as this prime real estate area is filling up fast and limited spots remain for the motorsports tripleheader weekend, April 26-28, featuring the GEICO 500.
These RV upgrades and amenities are part of the $50 million Transformation Infield Project at the historic 2.66-mile venue, which will also celebrate its 50th Anniversary this year. The Finish Line Premium RV reserved area will add 69 paved RV camping spots perfect for both motorhomes and fifth wheels. Each spot will be 21 feet by 50 feet in size and provide full hookups to power, water and sewer. The area will also be secured and have designated quiet times.
An all-inclusive package is available for campers who reserve a slot in the Finish Line Premium RV area for the upcoming weekend, highlighted by two 5-day infield admission passes and two Sunday Pre-Race Pit Pass Upgrades. These give guests access to an array of activities to see like the Drivers Meeting red carpet entry, the Pre-Race Driver Q&A session and Driver Introductions.
Guests may purchase up to eight additional infield admissions per account, including ones that come with a Sunday Pre-Race Pit Pass Upgrade. Buyers will also receive a camping placard, one tow vehicle pass and the option to purchase a maximum of two infield parking spots per account in the “Infield Hospitality Parking” lot.
When the 2019 fall race weekend rolls around, guests will have their first chance to explore the new interactive Talladega Garage Experience. The area will allow fans to view teams, cars and inspection stations up-close in the new Monster Energy NASCAR Cup garage, as well as relax in a new 35,000-square-foot Open Air Club (includes a 41-foot video board and bar), and enjoy Wi-Fi, concession and souvenir stands, a guest services center and first-aid station.
Also for the October ‘19 weekend, guests in the Finish Line Premium RV area will receive two 3-day Talladega Garage Experience Passes in lieu of two Sunday Pre-Race Pit Pass Upgrades (in spring) and can choose to upgrade any additional admissions with Talladega Garage Experience Passes. All other benefits will remain the same.
Fans can reserve a Finish Line Premium RV spot for $2,600 per race or $5,200 for the season in Row 1 (sold out for the 2019 spring & fall events), while slots in Row 2 cost $2,500 for a race and $5,000 for the season.
Construction is well underway for the new Turn 3 Oversized Vehicle Tunnel that will open in the spring. The 2-lane underpass will be large enough to accommodate all RVs, including those in the Finish Line Premium area, race team haulers as well as track tram vehicles (to take fans who have both infield admission and grandstand seating) to enter and exit the track simultaneously with ease. It will be open 24 hours during event weekends. New Infield Shower Trailers are also set to be completed for spring 2019.
For more information on Talladega’s Transformation infield project and to purchase spots in the Finish Line Premium RV area, fans are quickly encouraged to visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 855-518-RACE (7223).
Rico Abreu took the lead on lap eight and pulled away from the field to win by almost two seconds over fellow Toyota driver David Gravel in Wednesday night’s Hard Rock Qualifying Night feature at the 33rd annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals at the Tulsa Expo Raceway. Both Toyota-powered drivers will advance directly to Saturday night’s A Main feature event. Overall, six Toyota drivers have advanced to Saturday’s feature race in the first three nights.
With the victory, Abreu becomes one of just six drivers ever to win four preliminary night features. It also marked the sixth win for a Keith Kunz Motorsports (KKM) prepared Toyota in the last seven preliminary night feature events.
On Wednesday night, Abreu started from the second position. After briefly falling back to third, he quickly regained the position and then set his sights on leader Cole Bodine. On lap eight, Abreu went low into three and powered past to take over the top spot coming out of turn four. At that point, Abreu would pull away from the field before being slowed by lapped traffic late with Gravel closing in. With Gravel in mirror, Abreu moved low to take away Gravel’s preferred line and drove off to a comfortable victory.
“I have a really good car and I’ve got the best in the business working on it with KKM,” said Abreu, a two-time Chili Bowl champion. “Keith Kunz has really built something special with Toyota and all of his sponsors. Tonight, we minimized our mistakes and that’s how we put ourselves into position to win back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. You don’t luck into winning the Chili Bowl. You have to be on your game and do everything right and just can’t make mistakes. I’m looking forward to Saturday. This is the biggest race of the year for me. The crowds this place has just makes it very special.”
Gravel started fourth and moved up into third on lap seven. It then became a three-car battle for second and the last transfer into Saturday’s feature. After slipping to fourth, Gravel pulled off one of the moves of the night by going low to overtake both Bodine and Tim McCreadie for the second spot – a position he would never relinquish.
Also standing out on Wednesday was 16-year-old Toyota driver Cannon McIntosh. The youngest driver in the field started from the eighth spot and climbed up to finish fifth in his first-ever run at the Chili Bowl. Colby Copeland was the fourth Toyota driver to earn a top-10 finish with a seventh-place showing. Both McIntosh and Copeland will begin Saturday’s event in the B.
Also advancing to Wednesday’s A Main were Blake Hahn (11th), Jason McDougal (19th), Holley Hollan (20th) and Tyler Thomas (22nd). Hahn ran in the top five for much of the early going, while both Hollan and Thomas were running in the top-10 before getting caught up in the same mid-race incident.
This year’s Chili Bowl features more than 360 entries - each fighting for one of the 24 openings in Saturday night’s A Main feature event. Qualifying continues for each of the next two nights with two-time defending champion Christopher Bell headlining seven Toyota-powered drivers expected to attempt to qualify on Thursday.
BorgWarner Presents BorgWarner Championship Trophies to 2018 Indianapolis 500 Winners Will Power and Roger Penske17 Jan 2019 Written by Steven B. Wilson
At the Automotive News World Congress in Detroit, BorgWarner President and Chief Executive Officer Frederic Lissalde presented IndyCar Series driver Will Power with his BorgWarner Championship Driver's Trophy®. Known as the "Baby Borg," it commemorates Power's 2018 Indianapolis 500 victory, the first ever by an Australian driver.
"The Indianapolis 500 is the greatest spectacle in racing and one of the most watched races each year," said Lissalde. "The presentation of these trophies to Will and Roger is the culmination of the celebrations for winning the iconic race and it is one of the events I look forward to most. To be able to recognize their accomplishment with individual trophies commemorating the win is truly an honor for BorgWarner."
The Borg-Warner Trophy® has a permanent home at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, so the Baby Borg was created as a keepsake trophy in 1988 and is presented to the Indy 500 winning driver and team owner(s). The likeness of the winning driver's face that is created in sterling silver and permanently fixed to the Borg-Warner Trophy also is included on the Baby Borg. This is Power's first Baby Borg trophy.
"Winning the Indy 500 was a surreal moment and an overwhelming accomplishment," said Power. "As a driver, winning that race is something you dream about every night. To be included on the Borg-Warner Trophy is an incredible honor. I'm so glad to accept this Baby Borg and it's something that my family and I will treasure forever."
Power's 2018 Indianapolis 500 win was historic for Team Penske owner Roger Penske as he added to his legacy as the winningest team owner in Indianapolis 500 history, now with 17 wins. Penske's longevity is unmatched with Indianapolis 500 wins in five consecutive decades spanning 1972 to 2018. Penske and his team's accomplishments are legendary in the motorsports world across a multitude of racing disciplines. Cars owned and prepared by Team Penske have earned 505 major race wins, 578 pole positions and 34 championships.
The Borg-Warner Trophy was created in 1936 as a symbol of technology and innovation in racing. As the oldest, most famous trophy tradition, the Borg-Warner Trophy is the most sought-after motorsports prize.
The all-new Shelby GT500 – the pinnacle of any pony car ever engineered by Ford Performance – delivers on its heritage with more than 700 horsepower for the quickest street-legal acceleration and most high-performance technology to date ever offered in a Ford Mustang.
“Carroll was always working on the next faster Shelby, I think he would love this Mustang more than any other,” said Jim Farley, Ford president, global markets. “A takedown artist, the new Shelby GT500 will surprise supercar owners with its Ford Performance racing tech, supercharged engine and visceral swagger.”
Arriving this fall to join its Shelby GT350 stablemate, Shelby GT500 is engineered to attack on all fronts. At the drag strip, it’s set to produce a projected 700-plus horsepower via its first-in-class dual-clutch transmission. At the track, performance improves even more thanks to its race-bred chassis, custom Michelin tires and the largest front brake rotors ever available on an American sports coupe. On the street, its menacing aerodynamic design and Ford Performance driver control technologies make every moment behind the wheel even more exhilarating.
Most powerful Ford production car ever
In the process of making the all-new Shelby GT500 the quickest street-legal Mustang ever, Ford Performance created an exclusive powertrain to deliver new levels of power and torque.
“With its supercar-level powertrain, the all-new Shelby GT500 takes the sixth-generation Mustang to a performance level once reserved only for exotics,” said Hermann Salenbauch, global director, Ford Performance vehicle programs. “As a Mustang, it has to be attainable and punch above its weight. To that end, we’ve set a new standard among American performance cars with our most powerful street-legal V8 engine to date, plus the quickest-shifting transmission ever in a Mustang for all-out precision and speed.”
Shelby GT500 starts with a supercharged 5.2-liter aluminum alloy engine built by hand. To keep the intake air cooler and deliver a lower center of gravity, the team inverted a 2.65-liter roots-type supercharger with air-to-liquid intercooler tucked neatly in the V8 engine valley.
Like Shelby GT350, the aluminum alloy block features weight-saving wire-arc cylinder liners and high-flow aluminum cylinder heads, plus larger forged connecting rods, improved lubrication and cooling passages. Beneath that, a structural oil pan adds strength, reduces vibration, and features a patented active baffle system to keep oil where it’s needed.
To channel power and torque to the unique carbon fiber driveshaft, Ford Performance leveraged learnings from the tuning of its Ford GT supercar’s dual-clutch transmission. The team selected a TREMEC® 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, which is capable of shifts in under 100 milliseconds – markedly faster than any manual gearbox. This dual-clutch transmission is designed for a number of drive modes, including normal, weather, sport, drag and track, and activates features like line-lock and launch control through selectable Track Apps.
Next-evolution Mustang performance bred from Ford GT and Mustang GT4
To harness the power and torque of the most powerful Mustang ever made for the street requires cutting-edge active chassis technology, track-bred Michelin tires and Brembo® brakes – all dialed in by Ford Performance.
Shelby GT500 takes advantage of revised suspension geometry, a new electronic power steering unit and lighter-weight coil springs front and rear. Next-generation active MagneRide™ suspension is baked-in, along with the latest in advanced drive mode technologies from Ford Performance. The payoff is the highest-ever lateral acceleration from a Mustang for greater track performance and driver control.
Putting all this chassis hardware to the pavement, custom Ford Performance-spec Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires and more aggressive Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires feature unique compounds and tread. To provide track-ready stopping power, massive 16-5-inch (420-millimeter) two-piece rotors are added – the largest of any domestic sports coupe – plus larger, stiffer Brembo six-piston calipers. With 20 percent more swept area than the Shelby GT350’s, these brakes have more than 30 percent additional thermal mass in the front corners.
Two handling packages with increasing levels capability are offered for the all-new Shelby GT500. An available Handling Package includes adjustable strut top mounts and spoiler with Gurney flap. For the truly hardcore, an available Carbon Fiber Track Package features exposed 20-inch carbon fiber wheels with 0.5-inch-wider rear wheels (11.5-inch), custom Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, adjustable exposed carbon fiber GT4 track wing and splitter wickers with integrated dive plane. The rear seat is deleted to reduce weight.
A functional, menacing design tuned with Ford Performance know-how
Thanks to a cross-functional team of designers, Ford Performance engineers and motorsports collaborators, the 2020 Shelby GT500 has functional track-hero looks to match its performance capabilities.
“With a double front grille opening and 50 percent more cooling pack airflow versus the Shelby GT350, along with the most advanced aero components and downforce we’ve ever offered, every millimeter of Shelby GT500’s fastback design is aimed at improving performance,” said Melvin Betancourt, Ford design manager.
Those large angular grille openings and muscular hood combine for a menacing, aerodynamic-led design inspired by modern fighter jet aircraft. The car’s wider front fenders and stance housing Shelby GT500-specific 20x11-inch wheels proportionally align to its rear fenders that hug up to 20x11.5-inch wheels. A standard new rear spoiler and updated composite materials in the rear diffuser result in added thermal management.
The team leveraged Ford’s motorsports technical center in North Carolina and its windshear rolling wind tunnel – where top-tier racing teams test – to perfect the design of the Shelby GT500. Front fascia openings are more than doubled versus the Shelby GT350, while six heat exchangers are stuffed in to increase cooling pack airflow by more than 50 percent. A massive 31x28-inch louvered hood vent features a removable aluminum rain tray for better air extraction and increased downforce.
More craftsmanship, technology and driver comfort
Shelby GT500’s purpose-built cockpit boasts race-inspired premium materials and unique finishes worthy of its world-class power. Premium touchpoints include an available exposed carbon fiber instrument panel appliqué and new door panel inserts in Dark Slate Miko® suede with accent stitching. Available Recaro racing seats with firm side bolstering and pass-throughs for safety harnesses offer the highest level of performance. For those looking for even greater comfort, power-adjustable seating with Miko suede inserts is offered.
The all-new Shelby GT500 picks up a 12-inch full-color LCD instrument cluster, while a high-performance custom-tuned 12-speaker B&O® Play premium audio system is available. All of this is controlled via an 8-inch SYNC® 3 touch screen featuring SiriusXM and FordPass Connect™.
New colors for 2020 include Red Hot, Twister Orange and Iconic Silver. Painted stripes are available for the all-new Shelby GT500 too.
Building on the legacy of Shelby performance
With a reputation for transforming Ford Mustang into dominant road racing machines, Carroll Shelby, American racer and entrepreneur, took his legendary Mustang GT350 model further in 1967 to craft the first-generation Shelby GT500 with a modified 428-cubic-inch V8 inspired by his team’s 1-2-3 finish at Le Mans.
Carroll Shelby called the original Shelby GT500 “the first real car I’m really proud of.” Today, that legacy continues with the third-generation 2020 Mustang Shelby GT500 – the most powerful and most advanced Mustang ever.