SVT: From Flatline to Pulse
April 21, 2006
By now, it is common knowledge that Ford’s performance vehicle lineup is waning. The real question of its survival has been calmed…for now. After the initial announcement of the “Way Forward” plan and the prior disbanding of the original Special Vehicle Team (SVT), Ford now has plans to continue the SVT line. Don’t expect huge results or major surprises, however; announced plans are to have production scaled back with just two vehicles: a high performance Mustang and a high performance truck.
Ford expects each vehicle will sell anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 units, annually. Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas, declined to mention the specifics of what kind of truck SVT would release (rumors hint at an FX2 Sport), but he at least confirmed the overall direction of the performance division. "SVT isn't dying," he said. "Would I like to do more? Sure. But at the same time, we've got to balance our resources."
While only have two vehicles in the Ford Racing performance garage is meager in comparison to the projected five, it’s still better than zero. With SVT’s loss of substantial project and capital funding, it has been combined with Ford Racing’s marketing group. The three-pronged strategy, which Fields outlined at the New York Auto Show, is to encompass SVT, Ford Racing, and special “personalized performance”, in hopes of stirring interesting with the aftermarket and tuning clique.
Not Dead, but will SVT be “Alive”?
The fact is settled then; SVT is not a goner. The question of how well it will do looms in Ford fans’ minds. If SVT is scaled back and absorbed, will they release the hits they once achieved? Fields believes so. He claims the direction of his strategy is airtight and states he is "from the school that says performance vehicles make brands stronger. I believe they (SVT & Ford Racing) have a critical role in our Way Forward because they challenge our designers and engineers to excel, they excite our marketers, and they make a strong emotional connection to customers."
Let’s hope so, Mark. Ford fans are counting on you.
From Blue Oval Planet Posted April 20, 2006 02:11 PM by Tim Beggs.
PDA Takes Over NASA-NE
November 30, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Joe Lee Jr. www.nasanortheast.org
We are pleased to announce that the Performance Drivers Association
is taking over the National Auto Sport Association's Northeast Region
to offer a complete schedule to drivers and racers in our area.
The PDA is a perfect group to take over the NASA region - they have
put on more motorsports events than any other club in the northeast
and are dedicated to keeping their drivers satisfied.
"We have been looking to expand the region since the beginning and
PDA has the professional attitude, track dates and infrastructure to
take it to the next level," says NASA Northeast's outgoing Regional
Director Joe Lee.
PDA owners Joe Casella and Joe Triolo will take over as co-directors
of the region. Current NASA management is being encouraged to stay
on as part of the new group. Charlie Greenhaus of Entropy Racing will
be joining the management team as a partner and has been
instrumental in making the deal a reality.
There are immediate plans to host at least four race weekends during
the 2006 season at Lime Rock Park, Pocono International and Watkins
Glen International. In addition, there will be a full schedule of High
Performance Driving Events (HPDE), Time Trials, Competition Licensing
schools and Instructor Clinics. An expanded race program is expected
for 2007. A complete 2006 schedule will be released shortly.
"We are very excited that we will be hosting enough events for
northeast racers to qualify for the new NASA National Championships
at Mid Ohio next September," says Casella. To qualify for the Nationals
drivers need to score points in at least five races in their class.
Scheduled race weekends in the Northeast will each feature at least
"We know that this year will be a challenge but we want to put on a
professional program for both the racers and the driver's ed students,"
ABOUT PDA: PDA, based in Clifton, NJ, has been conducting performance
driving schools and time trials in the northeast since 1973.
ABOUT NASA AND NASA NE: Founded in 1991, the National Auto Sport
Association is a membership-driven organization that stages more than
120 professionally managed events for automobile racers and driving
enthusiasts coast-to-coast. With more than 12,000 members in 15
chapters nationwide, NASA's amateur racing programs cover a variety
of motorsport disciplines, including competition road racing,
high-performance driving events for street-licensed cars, rallying,
autocross, drifting and time trial competitions. NASA's Northeast region
has active since 1999. (www.nasanortheast.com - www.nasaproracing.com)
ABOUT ENTROPY RACING: As well as offering a rental fleet of racecars
featuring Ford and Renault Spec Racers, they also have Spec Miatas and
are a full-service racecar prep shop. Entropy Racing provides flagging for
many groups in the northeast as well as running competition-licensing
schools for NASA Northeast. (www.entropyracing.net)
New Track Day Oriented Car Introductions
Several U.K. cottage car makers are introducing new vehicles aimed at the growing number of Track Day enthusiasts and participants. Some, such as this new Lotus Circuit Car are intended solely for track use, while others such as this Dare G4 Club are simply standard models with improved suspensions, more power and less creature comforts. New introductions from these companies and others from more established makers like Westfield and Caterham give UK enthusiasts a wide and interesting group of cars to select from. We can only hope that this is one trend that will find it’s way to our shores.
The Western Region Loses a Track
Pikes Peak International Raceway has been sold to International Speedway Corporation and will close on November 1 2005. This will be a great loss to club racers and Track Day fans who appear to be caught in the middle. See the press release here.
New Road Course Opening in Utah
A new 4.5 mile road course named Miller Motorsports Park is under construction in Tooele, Utah and is scheduled to hold its first major event on June 16, 2006. The track will host SCCA, ALMS, Grand American, American Superbike, and HSR Historic events as well as being available for private rental and it can be run in four configurations. This looks like a great new facility for you Western Region folks.