Once you set the course for the project and what the engine is going to look like, then you have to go with it. If you get that wrong, you're going to be behind the 8-ball for the rest of the programme.”
Some of those crucial decisions included an all-new platform for 'FR9' with no carry over components or dimensions from the current production-based 351 engine. Elements such as the induction exhaust, valvetrain, cooling, lubrication and sealing systems have all been improved for greater efficiency and performance.
“The potential of this engine going forward is far above the current engine, which is towards the end of its development curve,” Simon continued. “Another improvement with FR9 is it has been designed to improve manufacturability and serviceability, offering the engine builders savings in labor and cost.”
While the restricted version of the engine will debut next week, it has yet to be determined when 'FR9' will hit the track at an unrestricted venue. One thing, however, is for certain - the 'FR9' is here to stay.
“It's a reflection of the great effort by the Ford engineers, by Doug Yates and his people, by my guys, and a vendor or two that we consulted with. Together they have brought cutting-edge technologies and cutting-edge thinking for casting layouts and torque loading, and for the way the stress and the fatigue will be carried throughout the structure,” said Jack Roush.
“We expect the castings to be more durable. We expect the valve seat life and the piston life to be improved and we expect a better result from the drivetrain. We look for decades of usefulness with the FR9. I feel sure it will contribute greatly to our teams and to Ford's future success in the sport.”