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Jan 30, 2014 - 12:04 PM
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2014 United SportsCar Q&A: Doug Yates
Posted by: newsla on Jan 30, 2014 - 12:03 PM
Grand Am News
2014 United SportsCar Q&A: Doug Yates

DOUG YATES, CEO of Roush Yates Engines, was at the Charlotte Media Tour today, and discussed what it was like to be at the Rolex 24 at Daytona this past weekend for the debut of the new 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine. Yates spent the entire weekend at Daytona, and gave his feedback to Ford Racing three days later.


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CAN YOU GIVE US A DEBRIEF FROM THE ROLEX 24? WHAT DID YOU LEARN? “First off, I want to say I never have seen so much energy from Ford Motor Company around an engine. Obviously, we see the Ford EcoBoost brand all over the place. Jim Farley (Global VP, Marketing and Sales, Ford Motor Company) and his team at Ford have done an incredible job marketing the brand, and now we get to work with the product and it’s an incredible engine. But to see all the men and women who put their heart and soul into that engine and put it into Ford products, and then we get to go race it...well, it was just an incredible amount of excitement, interest, energy and effort that was put into it to get it to Daytona. We ran five 24-hour endurance races on the dyno. We didn’t pass all of them, which is the reason we ran five, but we learned a lot and our effort with Ford at Daytona made me very proud. The engine rules IMSA put in disadvantaged us a little bit there and we were disappointed in that, but at the end of the day, for the debut of the EcoBoost engine at Daytona with Michael Shank Racing with Curb/Agajanian and Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, we felt was successful. We viewed it as successful, even though we have some more work to do.

“The goal is to win the championship, and our goal is to give them engines that can do that for them. We have some things we are coming home to work on, but that was the first race, and it was obviously the toughest race of all. You don’t get a warm up and do a three-hour race to start. You go straight to the Daytona 24 hour race and I think it was successful.”

LEARNING ON DYNOS IS NOT THE SAME AS LEARNING AT THE TRACK IN RACE CONDITIONS: “Absolutely. We have dynamometers that get really close to simulating the race car today. But at the end of the day, it’s really about what happens in the car, at that track, with that driver.”

IS THERE A SENSE OF RELIEF OF GETTING THROUGH DAYTONA? “It’s like stages of where you are with it. There was a point not long ago where we had some very big challenges in front of us. And then we passed that very last endurance test that Sunday night before we were leaving to go to Daytona. Ford Motor Company ran that dyno in Dearborn all day on a Sunday. That’s how big it was to Ford. The biggest thing for me is we don’t want to disappoint anyone. And that sense of pride, and the feeling that we don’t want to let Ford Motor Company down, makes us keep working hard and knowing that we have more work to do.”

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