Ford Racing Mustang FR500C on the Pace in Daytona Debut

DAYTONA, FL (February 3rd, 2005) – Ford Racing Technology’s new Mustang FR500C enjoyed an outstanding debut in yesterday’s Grand-Am Cup 200 qualifying at Daytona.

Three of the new Mustangs qualified in the top ten with the factory backed Multimatic Motorsports entries scoring the sixth and eighth fastest times and the privateer Blackforest Motorsports car actually taking third spot on the grid.

David Empringham led the charge for Multimatic, stopping the clocks at 2 minutes, 5.664 seconds in the #55 car. James Gue was only marginally slower in the #05 machine, recording a time of 2:05.889.

Scott Maxwell will team up with Empringham today for the race debut of the new car while Gunnar Jeannette will partner Gue.

“The car was very strong and we are delighted with the progress so far,” Multimatic Vice President and Technical Director, Larry Holt said.

“Ford’s plan for this car is for privateers to be able to run competitively against the factory team with exactly the same car, built to the same high quality specifications.

“We are thrilled that one of the customers qualified so well, even if they did qualify ahead of us. That gives us added motivation to try even harder in the race.”


Scott Maxwell

“I think this is a fantastic start for the new Mustang. Not only did we get both our cars in the top ten, one of the first customer cars actually qualified third fastest. That is great news for the entire program and great motivation for us. Not only do we have to beat the opposition – we have to do battle with customers who are running exactly the same car. Today is going to be another great challenge to see how the car runs in its first race, but from what I have seen so far, I think we are in very good shape.”

David Empringham

“My first lap was little bit conservative and I was on a better lap when the yellow flag came out. The leaders went really fast in qualifying but I don’t think we are too far off and I believe we will give them a good run today. The secret today is to look after the rear tires and we have worked hard on that all week. We need to be smart in traffic, but it is a case of not overdriving the car. Traffic can help you one lap, hinder you the next, but it can be a lot of fun.”

Gunnar Jeannette

“We have a great starting spot thanks to James and that will be a big help at the start because the field is so large. Traffic is going to be a key issue with more than 60 cars out there. We will have to play it safe and play it smart to ensure we get to the finish. It is important for us to get a good result tomorrow to kick off this program for Ford in the best possible way. Multimatic has done a fantastic job with this car and I am very confident we have a great chance to finish on the podium today.”

James Gue

“Qualifying went really well for us despite the fact we got caught out by the yellow flag at the finish of the session – there was probably a little more time in the car. I think we have a really good racecar right now and having a top ten starting position will be very beneficial because of the size of the grid. We made good progress with the changes on the car during the day, especially in the area of making the tires last which is critical for race conditions.”