With Ford involved in so many types of motorsports, 50-year-old Mark Rushbrook, the new global director of Ford Performance Motorsports, has to squeeze a lot of racing and plenty of travel into his 40-hour week. Well, check that.
"I put in way more than 40 hours," Rushbrook said, laughing. "But I'm not complaining. I loved my job before, and I love my job now."
As for that "before," he was motorsports engineering manager for Ford Performance, hand-picked in December 2013 to oversee all the Ford engineers who worked on the motorsports side — all seven of them. It looked like a dead-end job for Rushbrook, who had worked his way up to become Ford's Vehicle NVH manager, NVH being industry shorthand for noise, vibration and harshness.
But Raj Nair, then-Ford executive vice president and an accomplished amateur racer himself, had seen Rushbrook at multiple races around Detroit. Nair knew Rushbrook was there because of his love for racing, as well as the fact that he also raced.
At first, Rushbrook was aghast at being assigned to manage Ford Performance's racing engineers. "I asked Raj, 'What did I do wrong?'
"I told him, 'I can't do a lot with seven engineers.' And he said, 'No, here's the plan,' and when he explained it, it all made sense."