GrandAm mandates the proto- types not use the engine as a stressed member of the chassis, so the car must be able to roll across the tech shed floor without the engine in the car. Also, GrandAm wants only limited horsepower in the prototypes, to the point where they told the interested manufacturers to submit engines to the sanc-tioning body with 500 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque using a 7,000-rpm redline. These engines were dyno tested to verify the power, then torn down by GrandAm for an internal inspection, followed by issuance of a specific rules package for each manufacturer. Among others, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Porsche, and Toyota are participating.
Specifics to the Four-Valve 4.6/5.0 Ford modular engine are a modest 0.500-inch valve lift limitation and no more than five speeds in the transaxle. The Ford redline remains at 7,000 rpm, while some of the smaller engines in the class were allowed higher redlines and six-speed transmissions.
It's worth noting that at the only race run by our deadline--the 24 Hours of Daytona--the Daytona Prototypes were all barely competitive with the lower GTS and GT3 classes. In fact, the overall race win was taken by a GT-3 Porsche (a modified 911), and clearly we expect GrandAm to free up the prototype engine rules some before too long.
While we know Robert Yates is personally interested in promoting the modular engine for Winston Cup, no one expects him to tilt at the NASCAR windmill using nothing but his own development money. Enter Ford supplier Multimatic, which wanted to play on the big stage with its own chassis but needed an engine, and Dan Davis, head of Ford Racing Performance Parts, who has wanted to develop the Four-Valve modular V-8 into a racing engine for years now. With Yates already making Davis' engine parts look good in Winston Cup on a weekly basis, it's not difficult to imagine a short conversation between them to get a limited modular engine development program run- ning and on-track via Multimatic. We assume some help from Ford in the way of parts, information, and limited funds was put forward, but as this is mainly a Multimatic/RYR Engines show, we doubt there is significant Ford money changing hands.
At RYR Engines, Jon Giles, not incidentally late of FRPP, was hired as liaison with the company and its modular specialists, such as engineer Andy Schwartz. While he was hiring, Operations Manager Mark McCardle at RYR Engines also brought in John Maddox to serve as the Head Engine Builder, Special Projects, and spearhead the hands-on development of the Daytona Prototype engine. Working with John is Robert "Bob" Boahbedason (known around the shop as "Bobbydawson" or "Double Bob") to be the Special Projects Cylinder Head Technician on the modular program. From a daily, hands-on basis, it's John and Robert putting in the hours on the modular program.
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