Ford Motor Co. is opening a new technical and racing support center in Concord, N.C., that will play a role in developing future performance models.
The compound will be fully operational this summer to support race teams as they develop and test cars.
The 33,000-square-foot center will eventually help in development of future Ford performance vehicles.
“Motorsports and product development at Ford are interlinked, and this new center will house advanced tools that will serve both our race teams and the development of future Ford performance vehicles,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Ford global product development.
The facility will initially focus on all three divisions of NASCAR teams, eventually expanding to other Ford Racing teams in other series.
Technical support will include:
- Kinematics machine: This machine can test and measure suspension kinematics -- camber, toe, scrub and various loads with tires and springs. Race teams use this weekly to set up their front suspensions for different track configurations.
- Chassis torsional twist rig: Used to quantify the chassis structurally in the torsional mode -- the key parameter for a chassis. It can be used to determine the entire torsional stiffness of the car, the stiffness of the chassis independently, or the influence of various components on the car.
- Vehicle center of gravity machine: This is used to precisely measure the center of gravity height of a completed car. It can be used to quantify improvements over time. Race teams generally use the machine once a quarter to gauge progress and test their latest theories.
- Coordinate measurement machine: This machine helps teams measure their components for quality control and build simulation models, which allows them to make sure their cars comply with regulations.
“We have 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.”