It seems that Ford Motor Company will continue to keep out of IndyCar racing, even as the series tries to attract a third engine-maker to go up against Honda and Chevrolet.
Autoweek recently spoke to Ford Executive VP of Product Development and Chief Technical Officer Raj Nair (pictured), who said that with regard to motorsport, Ford has “been pretty focused on what we think can translate to production, whether it’s the engineering tools or technology, or the actual car, like the Ford GT, because that relevance really matters to us. It’s hard to show that in the formula classes like IndyCar or F1.”
The Ford GT is currently involved in both the IMSA SportsCar Championship and the FIA World Endurance Championship. A brand-new Ford Fiesta RS WRC from M-Sport just started its inaugural World Rally Championship series earlier this year, after a competition-spec Focus RS RX began competing in World Rallycross last year. Ford Mustangs compete in everything from Formula Drift to the Pirelli World Challenge.
In fact, just about the only racing series in which Ford has a stake that doesn’t feature a car based on something in-production is NASCAR; Ford’s contenders in that series are RWD spaceframe cars made to resemble the Ford Fusion. “But the physical resemblance is important,” says Nair, “and the fans still relate to it. IndyCars are gorgeous machines, and technically a lot of fun to work on, but they don’t have the same relevance.”
So we can forget about seeing Ford get involved in IndyCar (or Formula 1) anytime soon. It’s a darn shame.