Edsel Ford II says that reason that Ford is not involved with IndyCar Series racing is pretty simple: There’s no value in it.
Ford, speaking at a private event earlier this week, was asked if the car company had any plans to get back into IndyCar racing. His comments appeared on the More Front Wing website.
“No, no, no,” said Ford, who is on the board of directors at Ford. “I’ll be six feet under. No way. Not a chance.”
As a company, Ford last competed in major open-wheel racing in 2006 in Champ Car in a partnership with Cosworth. Currently, Chevrolet and Honda boast the only engine nameplates in the Verizon IndyCar Series.
The stance of no Ford in open wheel is really nothing new. Ford Racing efforts are now concentrated on its EcoBoost engine effort in the Tudor United SportsCar Championship and an increased presence in the Global Rallycross Championship (Ford is cutting back on its NHRA effort after 2014). What jumped off the page, however, was the reasoning the great-grandson of Henry Ford gave for having no interest in getting the Blue Oval back in IndyCar.
“No one in the stands,” he said. “The General Motors guys would like us there, and Honda would like us there, but there’s just no value in it. I’ve talked to Jamie [Allison, director of Ford Racing] a lot about it. He, Raj [Nair, group vice president of global product development] and I don’t think any of us really want to go to IndyCar racing.”
Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports, said that Chevrolet is proud of its involvement in the IndyCar Series and sees value in its association with the Verizon IndyCar Series.
“Chevrolet has a long heritage in open wheel racing at Indianapolis,” Campbell said. “When we returned to IndyCar competition in 2012, we were attracted to the new engine formula that focuses on high performance, small displacement engines with direct injection and turbocharging … all designed to optimize power, efficiency and fuel economy. These are the same technologies featured in many of our production vehicle powertrains. It is also a great place to develop engineers.
“Winning the IndyCar manufacturers’ championship the last two years, and races, like the Indianapolis 500 with Tony Kanaan, helps elevate the image and opinion of our brand. In the spirit of competition, we like to see multiple manufacturers in any series in which we race.”
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