Two of motorsports most prominent players have entered into a technical agreement that bodes well both for Blue Oval fans and racing itself. The deal, which matches Roush Yates Engines with Lola Cars, will see the Mooresville, North Carolina, operation develop and ultimately produce Ford engines for use in various future Lola LMP (Le Mans Prototype) vehicles that will initially see action in the 2011 American Le Mans Series.
The first of these engines will be a 3.2-liter twin-turbo V6 fitted with a specially tuned version of Ford's EcoBoost technology. Intended for use in Lola's LMP2 racer, it will represent the first application of the EcoBoost package in a premier international racing series. The Roush Yates organization also is evaluating a race-spec version of Ford's new 5.0-liter Ti-VCT V8 that would be used to power Lola's ultimate LMP1 category car, a vehicle which would be designed to compete in both the U.S.-based ALMS as well as at the famed French 24-hour enduro and other European Le Mans Series events.
Key advantages to both of these engines is their ability to provide relatively low-cost, high-mileage alternatives to more exotic powerplants, thanks largely to being created using production-based components. Lola and Roush Yates already have a successful track record, teaming together at Kremer Racing from 1991 to 2001 and earning a pair of wins during the 2000 season.
"This is a significant and obviously very positive development for us," said Scott Atherton, ALMS President and CEO. "And it is another example of a manufacturer that shares our view of racing's relationship to the showroom -- using a high-performance environment such as the American Le Mans Series to develop relevant, innovative technology that can be transferred to production cars. We continue to stand alone as motorsport's leader in manufacturer diversity and innovation, two traits that we believe were critical to Roush Yates' decision to supply Ford engines for LMP entrants starting next season. With today's announcement we now add another major brand to the list of LMP engine suppliers for 2011 -- Honda having already announced and displayed its new LMP motor at Le Mans earlier this year. The addition of Roush Yates and its Ford engine now gives LMP entrants two excellent choices with more still to come."