Ford-powered DP teams Chip Ganassi Racing and Michael Shank Racing have cut short testing at Daytona International Speedway due to teething issues related to its new-for-2014 package.
Both factory backed teams will not take part in Sunday’s third and final day after developing header issues on its Ford EcoBoost-powered twin-turbo V6 engines.
The two Ganassi Riley-Fords did not participate in Saturday’s night practice, while the Ohio-based MSR squad began packing up after completing the 90-minute night session.
“We have a couple of problems,” team owner Mike Shank told Sportscar365. “We want to make sure we maximize all the reliability things we can. It’s not the motor itself. It’s the things that hang on it.
“We’ve opted to get my trucks home early to beat the snow storm and be able to hit the ground running Monday morning to get after some of these ancillary things that we need to have.”
All three EcoBoost-powered entries haven’t lacked pace, with the No. 01 Ganassi entry of Jamie McMurray ending up quickest of the day with a 1:38.980 lap time.
A statement from Ganassi Managing Director Mike Hull said that the team had two successful days of testing but elected to pack up early to start working on the cars for the race.
“Both of our cars are fast and that’s great but we’ve got this new product that we need to maximize for all three of the cars,” Shank added. “Ford is stepping up and becoming more involved and we want to do well for them.”
While no further on-track validation testing is planned between now and the Rolex 24, Shank said engine builder Roush-Yates has a 24-hour durability dyno test scheduled for next week.
In the meantime, Shank said his team will continue to work with Ganassi to seek out and implement a solution. The two teams have worked together since the official debut of the EcoBoost program in November.
“This is all hands on deck,” Shank said. “It’s these little things that we want to make sure will not be a problem. It’s just a matter of figuring out what [the header] wants, from the heat and cooling.
“Rather than sit here and patch things, we’re just going to go home and do it right. We’ll work hand in hand with those guys and vice versa.”