The Ford Mustang Boss 302 contingency lodged a protest over balance of performance within the GTS class of Pirelli World Challenge, by withdrawing their cars from race competition in this weekend's doubleheader at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
In a press release issued on behalf of the teams, the twofold nature of the reason for protest was addressed. The full text and explanation of the protest can be found in the release, with some of the key issues Ford feels worth noting below.
“The primary reason for the protest was driven by high engine temperatures caused by the very small restrictor the Boss 302 GTS Mustang is required to run to reduce the horsepower of the Mustang,” the release said. “This causes unusually high engine temperatures and all Mustangs were experiencing high engine coolant and oil temperatures.”
When citing the rules directly, while Ford acknowledged the challenge in accurate performance balancing for all makes and manufacturers, it added that Ford did not have any specific advantage that in fact caused a major performance disadvantage.
“The Mustang owners and drivers collectively and unanimously feel that the SCCA's method of creating parity is not working and leaves the Mustang with a significant handicap in many areas, and an advantage in NO area,” the release said.
“The top finishing Mustang in Saturday's race was 10th place. The fastest lap time of the fastest Mustang was some 1.4 seconds slower than the front running cars. All of the top six cars were greater than one-second clear of all Mustangs. The three fastest Mustangs were within 0.1 seconds of each other. This demonstrates that there is a clear disparity between the Mustang and all other makes.”
In response, WC Vision issued a statement of its own. WC Vision President and CEO Scott Bove issued the following statement Monday regarding the protest by a number of Pirelli World Challenge GTS Ford Mustang teams yesterday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course:
“The teams and drivers that race in our series are passionate competitors who, at times, will express their opinions and we respect their decision to do so. Geoff Carter, Director of Competition for the Pirelli World Challenge, and his technical department have met at length with the Mustang teams and have explained their technical rulings.
“To maintain parity between the vastly different models of automobiles in each of the series' four categories, the technical department collects data from every car model, measuring performance in a multitude of areas, including rate of acceleration, cornering performance and rate of deceleration. The Mustang Boss 302 is currently among the fastest GTS cars in acceleration and top speed, it has at times demonstrated lateral capabilities on par with the best in the class, yet it appears to require further development under braking. Thus far in 2012, the Mustangs have achieved significant success with two victories, including seven podium and 15 top-five finishes. As we have done all year, the data garnered from each of the cars at Mid-Ohio will be evaluated in the 72 hours after the event. Any positive or negative adjustments to enhance parity in each of the classes will be made at least seven days prior to the 2012 season finale in Sonoma at the end of the month.”
Additionally, Justin Bell put together a video describing the situation, shown below.