One Cop Car (and a Lincoln) That Everyone Else Will be Pursuing
By: Brad Nevin | Ford Communications Network
Ford's entries in the 2005 One Lap of America include (from left, top row) Chet Dhruna, Matthew List, Bill Woebkenberg, Dan Haakenson, Dev Saberwal and Jaime Venezia (bottom row left). Sponsoring the team are Hau Thai-Tang, Director of Advanced Product Creation and SVT (bottom row center) and Ned Nus, Vehicle Dynamics Supervisor for Crown Victoria.
Team Panther is (from left) Dan Haakenson, Bill Woebkenberg and Dev Saberwal.
Team LS is (from left) Matthew List, Chet Dhruna and Jaime Venezia.
DEARBORN -- For those who think track time is golden, imagine driving in 20 races at 10 different race tracks across the country in nine days. It's big chunk of a typical race season compressed into one event with thousands of highway miles squeezed in between.
Sound like fun?
It sure as stink-on-gasoline does to six Ford employees who today embark on the 2005 Car and Driver One Lap of America, an automotive marathon that puts stamina and driving skill through the wringer. Race against the clock at one track, and then drive, sometimes through the night, to the next track and do it all over again. Over 3,000 miles, 10 tracks, nine days, one overall winner.
This year, Ford has two entries in the One Lap. One is Team LS with Ford engineers Chet Dhruna, Matthew List and Jaime Venezia. These employees ran the One Lap last year in a modified Lincoln LS, making them official "Lap Dogs," the term given to those who have experienced the grueling event before.
New to the One Lap this year (often called "Lap Puppies") are members of another Ford entry, Team Panther. Ford engineers Dan Haakenson, Bill Woebkenberg and Dev Saberwal are driving a modified Crown Victoria Police Interceptor (CVPI) -- a car whose platform is called Panther, hence the team name.
"Similar to our efforts last year, we want to make sure that we present our company and its great products well to the automotive enthusiasts that participate in One Lap," said Dhruna. "Not only do we want to enjoy the event for ourselves, but we look forward to meeting and building an even stronger relationship with current Lincoln LS and Ford Crown Victoria owners throughout the country. We will succeed if we can generate genuine excitement and enthusiasm with all of the people that will be following our entries and coming to each of our venues."
Even though there are two cars driven by two different groups, the overall Ford contingent is working together, watching out for each other and maybe even sharing deodorant.
Dhruna, List and Venezia's LS has an entirely new powertrain from Ford's Research and Advanced Engineering group.
The car has a 425-horsepower, 4.6-liter V-8 with an air-to-liquid intercooler at 10 psi of boost. The engine has an aluminum block and new heads, rods, valve train and camshafts. It also has a four-speed transmission with unique calibration for quicker shifts. There are forged BBS 18-inch by 9-inch wheels shod with P275/35/18 Michelin Pilot Sport2 tires. Front brakes have 14-inch Brembo cross-drilled rotors with four-piston calipers and unique friction material.
Team Panther's CVPI is modified with serious motor. The Crown Vic's stock powertrain was removed and replaced with 4.6-liter DOHC Cobra Terminator engine modified with Ford Racing headers, a Kenne Bell supercharger and a K&N air induction system. The engine will have 16 pounds of boost for road courses and 20 pounds of boost for the drag racing events. According to a Team Panther statement, crank horsepower of the engine is estimated to be over 600 at 20 pounds of boost, nearly tripling the stock horsepower.
"This is one Police Interceptor everyone else will be pursuing," said Team Panther's Bill Woebkenberg, aka Captain Boost. "The only other thing with four doors and this much power is two Porsches."
The Crown Victoria's chassis also is upgraded with higher rate springs and shocks. Engineers reduced the car's weight by about 400-pounds by removing the air conditioning, radio and other unnecessary parts. There are Baer front brakes with 14-inch rotors, 18-inch by 10-inch BBS wheels and 295/35 R18 Michelin Pilot Sport2 tires. Moving the battery into the trunk brings the car closer to a 50-50 weight distribution.
The 3,139-mile 2005 One Lap of America begins on April 29 and ends on May 7. The fist test is a wet skid pad event at the headquarters of Tire Rack in South Bend, Ind. Lap Dogs and Puppies then continue on to Indianapolis Raceway Park, BeaverRun Motorsports Complex in Pennsylvania, Lancaster Speedway in New York, New Hampshire International Speedway, Summit Point Motorsports Park in West Virginia, Mason Dixon Dragway in Maryland, Virginia International Raceway, Roebling Road Raceway in Georgia and Nelsen Ledges in Ohio. The final event and awards ceremony is held at Tire Rack headquarters.
"At BeaverRun we will be running the 1.4-mile road course only," wrote event organizer Brock Yates, Jr. in his One Lap pre-run report. "For those that have never been there before, it is an Alan Wilson-designed track with lots of run-off. Pay special attention to late-apexing turn five to prepare for the blind turn-in, downhill turn seven -- not especially dangerous, but amusing to those of us watching from the pits."
The effervescent Yates also described Summit Point in his pre-run: "The new track at Summit Point, the Shenandoah Circuit, was built as a driver?s track. It is not easy to learn and has some elements built into it to challenge the best of us. For the rear-engine folks, (there are) several downhill, off-camber, decreasing radius corners, others with blind turn-ins and of course, the copy of the Nurburgring?s Carousel. This adds up to an exciting course, and the elevation changes make the track very busy."
Team LS and Panther aren't the only Ford models running One Lap. Tony Swan, the executive editor of Car and Driver magazine, runs One Lap every year and writes about it in the magazine. This time, Swan will be piloting a 2005 Mustang GT with a few modifications. The car has a Ford Racing Performance Parts racing stripe kit, cat-back exhaust system and Ford GT 18-inch by 9-inch wheels. SVT and Team Mustang re-tuned the suspension with new bushings and stabilizer bars, and the front brakes have 14-inch cross-drilled Brembo rotors similar to those that will be featured on the 2007 Ford Shelby Cobra GT500.
"I think even as this is one of our shortest events, we'll keep all the competitors quite busy and challenged with the variety of tracks on the schedule," said Yates. "This year will allow for more possible hotel time but also some very long, late legs through the night. We look forward to a good, safe event."
For updates from Team LS, visit llsoc.com/V2R1/OLOA.
For updates from Team Panther, visit crownvic.net.