Encouraged by the first-year dominance of its 420-horsepower stock Mustang
race car in the Grand-Am Cup series, Ford Motor Company has developed what
it describes as the ultimate Mustang stock race car.
Code-named “Man Racer,” the new, 550-horsepower Mustang follows on the
heels of the highly successful FR500C, also known as the “Boy Racer.”
“Man Racer represents the reincarnation of the Trans-Am Mustang from the
’70s, which was the most powerful showroom-looking pony car at the time,”
says Dan Davis, director, Ford Racing Technology. “This car has amazing
output from a normally aspirated engine, and the chassis is specially tuned
for high-speed performance and handling.”
There is only one Man Racer, but more could be on the way — if Ford can
find an appropriate racing series for the car. Davis says the automaker is
involved in discussions with several sanctioning bodies on that very topic.
Man Racer, like Boy Racer, is based on the basic body structure of the
production Ford Mustang and is race-prepped by Multimatic, a Ford
performance supplier. Under the hood is a 550-horsepower, aluminum V-8
engine built by Roush-Yates, the same engine builders that supply power to
seven NASCAR Nextel Cup teams. Rising from the rear of Man Racer is a large
wing for added downforce.
Boy Racer was more than good in its debut year in the Grand-Am Cup series,
sweeping the manufacturer, team and driver titles against the likes of
Porsches and BMWs. The feat did not go unnoticed.
“A year ago, we started with three customer FR500C Mustangs in the series,”
says Jamie Allison, manager, Ford Racing Performance Group. “With the
success on the track, the number is up to 18 this year, including teams
that switched from Porsche and BMW to Mustang. We expect to sell seven more
race-prepared Mustangs at $125,000 each for a total of 25 by the end of the
Palm Coast Ford, fewer than 30 miles from Daytona International Speedway in
Florida, accounted for eight of those sales.
“Last year marked the first time we sold Ford performance parts, and I did
not expect that much success,” admits Vic Leininger, assistant parts
manager, Palm Coast Ford. “We ended up third among all Ford dealers in
performance parts sales, and we didn’t start the program until March. We
will do even better this year, definitely.”
Leininger says he hopes Ford will bring the Man Racer to market. Should the
company decide to do so, the car will be sold for about $200,000 to
customers with a racing license. Is there a market?
“Oh, I think so,” says Davis with a smile.