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Q&A With New Ford Performance Motorsports Director Mark Rushbrook

Sportscar365 catches up with new Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director Mark Rushbrook…

Photo: Drew Gibson/Ford

Ford Performance’s motorsports activities will be shifting hands later this month, when its engineering manager Mark Rushbrook takes the helm as the new Global Director of motorsports at the company, replacing Dave Pericak, who has been promoted to a major new role in product development

Sportscar365 caught up with Rushbrook at last weekend’s Six Hours of Shanghai to get his thoughts on the new role and the manufacturer’s future sports car racing involvement.

How does it feel to take the reigns of Ford’s global motorsport programs?

“I’ve been in this position for four years, from the engineering side, and Dave has been here for three years.

“Obviously it’s been great working for him and being part of the team and doing everything we’ve done, with NASCAR, improving our competitiveness there, with the GT program, the GT350R-C, the Mustang GT4, all of those programs.

“I’m definitely sorry to see Dave go, but looking forward to continuing everything we’ve built in the program and the momentum we’ve got going.”

What kind of knowledge, or new viewpoint, can you bring into company in this new role?

“We’ve worked fairly closely all along, between the engineering side, marketing and communications. Obviously with Dave looking over all of those, I’ve been involved.

“Part of what we have to do is take our message out to our fans, to the owners. We’ve been doing that all long. So we have to be very cognizant of what we do in engineering to be able to tell the story to our fans and customers.”

What are your thoughts on the Ford GT program heading into its third year in 2018?

“The program in total has been a success, especially last year with the win at Le Mans and all of the other wins we’ve had through the season. This year we’ve had some good wins and have continued building the program.

“We’re committed to doing 2018 and 2019 and going out and winning races and championships when we can.”

Ford decided not to utilize an ‘Evo’ kit for next year. Could it still be an option for the next homologation cycle in 2019?

“We’re always looking in whatever series we’re working in, whether it’s NASCAR or the GT, we’re always looking at what is the best move for us to be the most competitive.

“We definitely looked at some things that we could do for an evolution, and we’ll always be looking at that.”

Are you excited about the GTE platform in general, particularly with the arrival of some new machinery for the competition next year?

“We’re here to compete against the best, both in IMSA and WEC. We’re very happy to have more manufacturers come in. It creates more competition on track to push us harder.”

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Sportscar365 as well as the recently launched e-racing365 Web site for electric racing. Dagys spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. pdxracefan

    November 12, 2017 at 10:41 am

    Seems like a nice enough guy. But really, just more Blah-Blah.

  2. Sorc

    November 12, 2017 at 11:56 am

    No offense but this was hardly worth publishing, complete non-answers.

  3. southcove

    November 12, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    certainly not John’s fault, but the guy has the corporate gobbly gook marketing speak down pat already…

    ‘we have to be able to take our message out to our fans…’ And this was a perfect opportunity to pass that on to SC365 or to clarify his new and improved vision of that engineering/marketing message.

    Yeah, blah, blah.

  4. David Chaste

    November 13, 2017 at 1:06 am

    He really means to say…Look dont get too attached we only have 2 more years of this. And as clunky as Nascar is, it gives us better exposure to consumers. Chip better give me good reasons to greenlight a DPi program since he did not win Lemans again in 2017. We only wanted to win it for 4 straight years and your other minions could have it after that. Is that too much to ask?

  5. John

    November 13, 2017 at 5:39 am

    While he could have had more to say about himself and what he brings to the position, maybe he’s just more of a low key engineering type.

    His job is to execute the program given to him, and publicly, Ford is maintaining a status quo.

    Decisions on greenlighting a DPi program, or any such announcements are made above his pay grade, by guys like Raj Nair and some whose last names are Ford, so he’s not going to be in a position to speak until those plans have been made.

    Same reasons why Walliser couldn’t speak until the board told him what the plans were going forward.

    • Right

      November 13, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      John is exactly right. Rushbrook is an engineer, not a talking head, so I wouldn’t expect much out of him from this kind of Q&A.

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