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Ford Racing Mustang Charges to 1-2 Victory in Daytona Debut

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DAYTONA, FL (February 4th, 2005) – Ford Racing Technology’s Mustang FR500C enjoyed a dream debut race at Daytona International Speedway today in the Grand-Am Cup 200 by taking a 1-2 finish.

However, it wasn’t one of the factory supported Multimatic Motorsports entries which greeted the checkered flag – the Blackforest Motorsports car of Tom Nastasi and Ian James took the victory, just holding off the #55 Multimatic machine of David Empringham and Scott Maxwell.

The Blackforest Motorsports car was one of three customer entries and five cars in total which raced for the first time in Daytona today.

The #55 Multimatic Motorsports car was unlucky not to take victory after losing the car’s hood after Empringham had charged from position six on the grid to take the lead after only two laps.

However, on lap 14 the Mustang’s hood departed the car and the team elected to pit during the yellow flag period to check for damage. Scott Maxwell climbed aboard the car and charged back into the lead from 41st position only to have to make a late race pit stop to top up on fuel.

That handed the race lead back to the Blackforest Motorsports Mustang FR500C which had elected not to change tires during its stop at the half way point of the race.

James Gue and Gunnar Jeannette were also unlucky to finish 9th in the #05 Multimatic entry. Gue started the race and climbed as high as 2nd before handing over to Jeannette.

However, a malfunctioning door latch caused a long pit stop and the team were further hampered by having to make a late stop for fuel.

But despite not taking the win themselves, Multimatic enjoyed the thrill of victory after playing a large role in the development of the Mustang FR500C with Ford Racing Technology.

“When we started this program our goal was to build and sell identical Mustangs that people could win with and I think we proved that today,” said Dan Davis, Director, Ford Racing Technology.

“I’m thrilled that Blackforest Motorsports, one of our first customers, won the season-opening Grand Am Cup race in one of these cars. It just goes to show that these new Mustangs are very competitive and they give their owners a legitimate shot to win.

“It wasn’t the fastest car on the track, but it won today, and this is a great way to kick off Speedweeks for Ford in Daytona.”

Quotes

Scott Maxwell

“We thought it was the right idea at the time to pit after David lost the hood but in the end we probably did pit too early and the second stop cost us 30 to 40 seconds. Other than the hood, the race was pretty uneventful for me but full credit has to go to Blackforest Motorsports for taking the win and Ford Racing Technology and Multimatic for the work that has gone into building this car. Dave and I have had a lot of luck here in the past so I really can’t complain. Daytona is one of the better circuits for both of us.”

David Empringham

“I’m not sure what happened to the hood but it certainly shocked me. Fortunately, it flew right off the car while I was on the banking and didn’t stay up in front of my view. It really didn’t affect the performance of the car at all but it was probably the cause of our strategy not quite working out. Scott did a great job to charge back through the pack but we couldn’t quite get there at the finish.”

Gunnar Jeannette

“James made a great start, but was actually baulked by David and he had to back off to stop from running into him and that cost us a few spots on the start. He did a really good job before handing the car over to me but then we had the problem with the door and a second fuel stop really put us out of contention. We would have loved to finished higher, but it was great to get the first race under our belt with the new car. I am sure we are going to be very competitive in the races ahead.”

James Gue

“I actually missed a gear when I almost ran up to David at the start, but apart from that, my race went really well. We ended up being a bit unlucky with Gunnar with the door but he did a good job to charge back through, but we had lost too much time. This Mustang is certainly a great car to drive and getting a 1-2 finish first time out is fantastic. Gunnar and I certainly plan to be fighting it out for podiums in the races ahead.”