Ford Racing and the American-Canadian Tour (ACT) Late Model stock car series have begun development of a new Ford crate engine for use on the ACT Late Model Tour, Série ACT-Castrol, and in weekly Late Model divisions around the northeastern United States and Canada in 2009. The Ford engine will be the first non-General Motors powerplant option in the division since the crate engine program was introduced a decade ago. All ACT-legal Late Models currently utilize a “spec” GM ZZ4 engine.
Production of the first Ford Racing prototype crate engine has been completed at Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan. The engine was shipped to the east coast for dynamometer, reliability, and comparability testing at Butler & MacMaster Racing Engines in Hallowell, Maine, the official crate engine supplier of ACT. The first on-track test is anticipated to take place in Virginia or the Carolinas in March.
“We are pleased to have Ford’s direct involvement in the development of a Ford ‘crate engine,” said ACT President Tom Curley. “The introduction of another manufacturer is long overdue, and we’re confident that the long-time debate of Ford-versus-Chevrolet will give our fans and race teams something to cheer for.”
Long-time Ford supporter and former ACT competitor Dave Dion is excited about the development. “It’s encouraging that Ford wants to step up in the local short track programs,” said Dion, “but I’m not saying that because I’m a Ford guy. I would be excited about it if it was Chevrolet, Chrysler, Toyota, or anyone else. There’s a real value in this project.” Dion explained that grassroots involvement from major companies like Ford will benefit the bigger picture. “I’m from the old school where options were everything in racing, and good-natured rivalries and debates were a healthy part of the sport,” Dion said. “If Ford can bring some of that atmosphere back to local racing by competing against the Chevrolets, then short track racing as a whole wins. On top of that, Ford gets a lot of exposure during these tough economic times. It’s very necessary.”
Curley and Dion have been working together on the project for nearly two years, and Dion has offered his ongoing help with research and development to make the program a success.
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Contact: ACT Media Phone: (802) 244-6963 Fax: (802) 244-1616