The Ford Mustang Boss 302S race car dominated the inaugural season of the GTS class in the SCCA World Challenge, with Paul Brown of the Tiger Racing team winning five races and capturing the driver's championship. That wasn't necessarily a surprise, though, as the class was developed in part for the turn-key race car. This season, Ford's pony car hasn't had nearly as much success, however, with a Mustang driver not standing atop the podium since the first race and the highest ranking team currently sitting 6th in the standings.

The frustration of the Mustang teams came to a head this past weekend at Mid-Ohio when their quickest car finished in 10th place in Saturday's race. To compound their problems, seven of the Mustang race cars had overheating issues, a problem that the teams say is due to the small air restrictors mandated for the Mustang by the SCCA. Tiger Racing experienced two engine failures, while another driver experienced temperatures so high in the cabin that the rubber soles of his shoes melted.

In protest, each of the Mustang teams decided to sit out Sunday's race, parking their cars in pit lane after the initial formation lap. "The Mustang owners and drivers collectively and unanimously feel that the SCCA's method of creating parity is not working and leaves the Mustang with a significant handicap in many areas, and an advantage in NO area," said the teams in a collective statement released yesterday. "The Boss Mustang teams held meetings with series officials throughout the Mid-Ohio event in an attempt to regain some level of competitiveness, but those discussions proved fruitless. The teams collectively felt that their voices were not being heard and staged a protest to bring more attention to this matter."

Scroll down to read the official announcement or watch Justin Bell, driver of the Tiger Racing Mustang Boss 302S, talk about the protest.


Show full PR text
Today in SCCA World Challenge GTS competition the Ford Mustang Boss 302 contingency staged a protest against the series by parking their cars in pit lane after the initial formation lap. The reason for the protest was actually twofold.

The primary reason for the protest was driven by high engine temperatures caused by the very small restrictor the Boss 302 GTS Mustang is required to run to reduce the horsepower of the Mustang. This causes unusually high engine temperatures and all Mustangs were experiencing high engine coolant and oil temperatures. Two Mustangs failed to finish due to engine related issues. Some engine oil temperatures were in excess of 310°F which is quite a bit higher than normal. Engine coolant temperatures ranged from 240°F to 280°F. This is significantly higher than normal operating temperatures and puts the engine's computer into protect mode. This demonstrates that the restrictor has a compounding effect on the Mustang's ability to make horsepower and be competitive. The competitors collectively chose not to race their cars rather than risk further damage to the engines in their cars.

The secondary purpose of the protest was to bring attention to the current rules package for the Boss Mustang. The series has a very difficult task in trying to create parity between vastly different vehicle makes that achieve lap times in vastly different ways. Some have a power advantage, some have a stopping advantage, some have handling advantages, etc... The Mustang owners and drivers collectively and unanimously feel that the SCCA's method of creating parity is not working and leaves the Mustang with a significant handicap in many areas, and an advantage in NO area. The Boss Mustang teams held meetings with series officials throughout the Mid-Ohio event in an attempt to regain some level of competitiveness, but those discussions proved fruitless. The teams collectively felt that their voices were not being heard and staged a protest to bring more attention to this matter.

The top finishing Mustang in Saturday's race was 10th place. The fastest lap time of the fastest Mustang was some 1.4 seconds slower than the front running cars. All of the top six cars were greater than one-second clear of all Mustangs. The three fastest Mustangs were within 0.1 seconds of each other. This demonstrates that there is a clear disparity between the Mustang and all other makes.

The teams agree the use of inlet restrictors are the direct cause of the extensive engine overheating issues leading to eventual failures. In consideration of the high replacement costs of a new Boss 302 engine and the replacement of failed components due to the high heat stresses being applied to these engines, and the resultant safety issues stemming from exhaust fumes entering the car, it is agreed SCCA must stop its parity by restricting the Fords.

Failures of note are:

-Tiger Racing: Two engine failures due to catastrophic engine over-temps
- JVK Motorsports: Elevated ECT
- Rehagen Racing: Exhaust Manifold blowout, cracking and extreme driver compartment heat.
- GSP Racing: Extreme Driver compartment heat enough to melt the rubber soles of driver's shoes.
-Autosports Development: Elevated ECT
- R & C Motorsports: Exhaust manifold failures


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 50 Comments
      mitytitywhitey
      • 2 Years Ago
      I like what has happened to LMP1 in the LeMans series'. They finally stopped regulating air, and started regulating fuel burn rates (through restrictors) to level the playing field. I think restricting fuel has the added benefit of making race car makers think green, while making the races more fair, and perhaps in this case, could reduce the potential for damaging engines.
      intercede007
      • 2 Years Ago
      http://secure.campaigner.com/Campaigner/Public/t.show?TmU6--E8Tg-1Dewba4 Here is a statement from the teams explaining the technical details of the failures and why a smaller restrictor is causing larger problems. They also outline the disparity in competitiveness with the rest of the field.
        Buzzskyline
        • 2 Years Ago
        @intercede007
        They seem to understand the problem well. If they are correct that the problem is too lean a mixture during open loop operation, then they need to enrich the mixture in the fuel map. They even say, "If you refer to the diagram below to understand why new calibrations are mandatory for each inlet restrictor required . . ." OK, you know which restrictor you'll be using, so get out your laptop and load a new map for each restrictor. What's the problem? If you can't be competitive with the restrictor and the correct map loaded, then that should be the point of your complaint, not the overheating issue.
          Buzzskyline
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Buzzskyline
          Just watched the video, and Justin Bell only talks about parity, not overheating after all. That makes sense, and I agree with him. The Boss is awesome and i hate to see it neutered like that.
      scott3
      • 2 Years Ago
      The race teams are their own worst enemy. The fact is today teams need to keep things level with each other or they will pay a price. The series can not afford anyone being dominate as the others will pull out and then we are back to a IROC series. Also auto MFG and teams can not make the adjustments themselves as if we let them run wild we end up with a handfull of cars that they only make a few of and kill the racing series that way. Air restrictors are not new and GM has had to deal with them for years. Ford can do the same. The key to racing today is not to show all your cards. Hold back and run only as fact as you need to run and keep things close. Drop a race now and then. If you go out and show all you have they will take it away. Today teams need to race smart and the best teams in other series have been doing this for years.
        Martin Edmonds
        • 2 Years Ago
        @scott3
        Sounds like the Ford teams are just wanting to whine because their not dominating the field anymore. Hell you didn't hear the LeMans Corvette teams doing that when they had to add weight/reduce power in their C6.R's.
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Series officials have to ponder outcomes, not just principles. Grand Am penalized Porsche for a whole season (taking away RPM) for winning Daytona. However, no other race, or track in the schedule is a good reflection of a win at Daytona. The demands of a 24 hour race at Daytona in no way reflect the demands of a 3 hours race at Lime Rock, or VIR, or the flat and lifeless Homestead. If the teams are required to run factory ECUs, you can't simply through a 'performance equalizer' at it like you would in a cup series. It would appear the cars are running exceptionally lean. Let then have reliability back, then modify performance in some other way.
      QCRamAir
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good for them: Screw these rules. Instead of dumbing down race cars like the Mustangs, their "advantages" should be motivation for the other teams to up their game and build better cars. In a foot race, if someone is clearly faster than his competitors, are they suddenly gonna change the rules to put ankle weights on him to make it a more "fair" playing field. Give me a f*cking break. If someone or something is better, then the competition needs to up their game. All these ever-increasing rules and restrictions in racing these days is just ruining the sport.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @QCRamAir
        [blocked]
          Justin
          • 2 Years Ago
          Let the others get faster then.
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          The Corvette runs in the GT class. Mustang is in GTS.
        ChrisD
        • 2 Years Ago
        @QCRamAir
        Here, Here! Why do we have to dumb down the winners so the losers can catch up?! The 911's, camaro's etc don't like getting beat, so, figure out how to go faster!
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ChrisD
          [blocked]
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ChrisD
          SVX: they knew. I don't they envisioned the restrictors causing any sort of problems though. I'm curious to hear what Ford Racing has to say.
      djpatrick35
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry Mustang, but welcome to sanctioned auto racing! This series puts "rewards weight" on race winners for the next race (some reward, eh? LOL), restrictor plates, etc. to create parity and prevent some teams from running away with the series. Like it or not, they want entertaining races, manufacturers and teams be damned. Obviously the Mustangs were running away with it, so they were going to get smacked. That's just the way the world turns.
      JDubbs115
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why don't they just downgrade to track pack V6 Mustangs in the future? They're competing against far less powerful, FWD Jetta GLIs and Optima SXs (visible in the picture). For the un-inoculated, this seems like a pretty unfair advantage to begin with.... And I hear those Optimas are doing rather well for their first season.
        ThinkAboutIt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JDubbs115
        They are not competing with Jettas and Optimas; those run in the Touring Challenge class. These cars run against full-bore pony-car competitors. It's just coincidental that the picture shows the Mustangs ahead of a couple of TC cars going through Laguna Seca's corkscrew.
          JDubbs115
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ThinkAboutIt
          Thanks for the clarification. As I said, the un-inoculated have no idea, lol. Why is it that they race together? And would a V6 mustang run cooler while still being competitive?
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JDubbs115
        [blocked]
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @JDubbs115
        The GLIs are in the TC class. As for the Optimas, yeah, they're in the GTS class.
      AcidTonic
      • 2 Years Ago
      Not surprising...... Less engine, more cooling. You shouldn't need an open restrictor to cool your engine. Perhaps the engine is too big for real racing.
        k_m94
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        Or maybe you shouldn't be penalized for winning within the rules by having restrictors thrown on to a barely modified engine to the point it can't possibly offer competitive pace and the software throws a tantrum. This is like forcing Usain Bolt to run 100m in ill fitting Crocs because nobody seems to match his top speed. The other athletes just should try harder to catch up and beat the defending champ, or at least face the same regulation. Your logic, going again to the Olympian reference, is that runners should have smaller feet so that they fit easier into the punishment Crocs.
        Greenlightracer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        I think you hit the nail on the head.
        carguy1701
        • 2 Years Ago
        @AcidTonic
        For that matter, how do you define too big?
      EG
      • 2 Years Ago
      they did the same thing for the pratt and miller CTS-Vs, and I didnt hear anybody crying about that one
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EG
        [blocked]
          carguy1701
          • 2 Years Ago
          Probably because the Caddies and Vettes are in a different class?
      Christopher Wynne
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good for the teams. They are more than aware of the parity rules, but unlike their counterparts in Grand Am, the SCCA/PWC rules are beyond what could be considered fair. Especially given the calibration and cooling issues those small restrictors are creating. For a team to lose 2 motors in one race in PWC, when G/A teams can run the same motors for longer races and get through a full season without failure is just silly. Like mustangs or not, that's plain unfair ruling.
      djpatrick35
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sorry Mustang, but welcome to sanctioned auto racing! This series puts "rewards weight" on race winners for the next race (some reward, eh? LOL), restrictor plates, etc. to create parity and prevent some teams from running away with the series. Like it or not, they want entertaining races, manufacturers and teams be damned. Obviously the Mustangs were running away with it, so they were going to get smacked. That's just the way the world turns.
        tom.tommarello
        • 2 Years Ago
        @djpatrick35
        Creating reliability problems does not make for interesting racing though.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @tom.tommarello
          [blocked]
      jonnybimmer
      • 2 Years Ago
      How about rather than blaming air restrictors, you start working on improving the cooling system? If the motor is overheating and cabin temperatures are too high, methinks these 'Stangs are having issues with air flow. Strange how you don't hear overheating issues from the Camaros, who have even larger motors.
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