Ford Racing has developed a new engine, the FR9, described as the first purpose-built NASCAR racing engine ever to come out of Ford Motor Company. The engine will be used by the Roush Yates team and is expected to debut during the second half of the 2009 season.
Here is the release from Ford Racing:
Its design has been spearheaded and developed by Ford Racing engineer David Simon, and famed engine builder Doug Yates, along with input from legendary Ford Racing engine engineer Mose Nowland.
“This is an exciting time for us to say the least, especially with the way our two companies have worked so well together on this project,” said Yates. “I’ve never had the opportunity to work on a NASCAR engine with a clean sheet of paper, but that’s basically what we’ve done and I’ve enjoyed every second. We feel we’ve got a piece that will not only be better than what we’ve got now, but will give us room to grow.
“With the exception of a few cylinder head changes through the years, we’ve had the same engine since 1991 and have been able to squeeze out every ounce of power and speed possible,” continued Yates. “What’s got me so excited is we’ve won races and championships with an engine many consider old, and this new piece is definitely a notch above, so we’ve got a lot to look forward to for years to come.”
There are three key differences between “FR9” and the current engine. First, the cooling system has been re-worked and will allow teams to optimize the amount of tape they can put on the front grille and improve downforce. Second, the valve train has been improved, and, third, the production and assembly of “FR9” will be much easier than today’s model.
Another thing is for certain, this isn’t your father’s 351 because “FR9” does not retain any of the original production 351 dimensions as the current model.
“Our main priority when we started this project was to get the bones of the engine right. We wanted to make sure we had the proper layout, the right block structure and that the overall skeleton of the engine was correct,” said Simon. “Even though we’ve been working on these engines for decades and know a lot of things about them, there was still a lot we didn’t know. In that case, we went and did some testing to get the answer.”