At Sunday's SCCA World Challenge race at Mid-Ohio, one type of car was conspicuously absent from the on-track action. Drivers of the Ford Mustang Boss 302S and 302R race cars all decided to come into the pits after the formation lap, in protest of what they call unfair rules imposed by the SCCA on the Mustang.
Justin Bell, who races a Boss 302S in the series, posted a video to YouTube explaining why the drivers decided to sit out the race. To limit the cars' power output, SCCA World Challenge rules require the Boss 302S to use an engine-intake restriction. Unfortunately, drivers claim the restrictor not only makes the Mustang so slow as to be uncompetitive in the race series, but also that the restrictor "confuses" the Mustang's engine computer and has resulted in several race cars with damaged engines.
"We love racing these cars and we wish we were out there now," Bell said in the video. "For some reason, the parity in this series is not equal to all."
Bell called on Ford officials to work with the SCCA to help lift the car restrictions, so that the Boss 302S and 302Rrace car would be more competitive in the World Challenge series. According to the SCCA, seven Ford Mustang race cars retired early from the race on Sunday, including five Boss 302S models, one Boss 302R, and one older Mustang FR500S.
On Saturday's race at Mid-Ohio, the highest a Mustang Boss 302S finished was 24th overall and 10th within its class. Bell failed to finish qualifying for the races on Friday, after his Boss 302S overheated and a head gasket failed.
The video posted to YouTube explains that the restrictor plate in the airbox fools the Ford''s mass airflow sensors into providing false readings for the amount and temperature of air entering the engine. This results in reduced engine power, and has reportedly been linked to at least six instances of engine overheating for the Boss 302S and 302R race cars.
UPDATE: In a statement, Ford Racing expressed its support for the actions of the Boss racers. The statement read in part, "Competitiveness is critical to the success of any racing series. The actions taken by the individual Ford teams on Sunday highlight the difficulty that World Challenge has had establishing and maintaining parity in the GTS class throughout the season and the resulting frustration of the competitors. We understand and share the Ford teams' concerns over the competitiveness and the resulting rules changes that have hurt them on track."
Sources: YouTube, SCCA