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Ford opens new center for building better racecars

Joey Logano's #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford at Martinsville, VA in March 2014.
Joey Logano's #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford at Martinsville, VA in March 2014.
Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Ford Motor Co.’s new 33,000 square-foot technical and racing support center in Concord, N.C. is expected to focus on all three divisions of NASCAR teams when it opens this summer, “eventually expanding to other Ford Racing teams in other series,” noted Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford global product development. “Motorsports and product development at Ford are interlinked, and this new center will It will house advanced tools that will serve both our race teams and the creation of future Ford performance vehicles in other series as well.”

He also announced that the company has “enhanced our vehicle dynamics simulation tools to lead the development of Ford Racing cars in NASCAR and IMSA, as well as our street products,” said Nair. “The driving simulator will help us to push handling optimization to the next level so that our cars can be fast right off the trailer, allowing our teams to focus on fine-tuning changes when they get to the track.”

Other equipment at the Concord facility includes A chassis torsional twist rig used to test the stiffness of the car frame; a kinematics machine that will be used to measure suspension kinematics (camber, toe, scrub and various loads with tires and springs) so that racing teams can regularly test their front suspensions in regard to different track dynamics; a center of gravity machine to accurately measure the center of gravity height of a finished car; and a coordinate measurement machine to assist team engineers in configuring quality control for car components and create simulation models, that will permit them to make sure their cars comply with all racing regulations.