At this weekend's Pirelli World Challenge GTS race at Mid-Ohio, drivers of the Ford Mustang Boss 302 race cars staged a protest against SCCA rules by parking their 'Stangs in the pit lane after the initial formation lap.
Why the protest? They say that they're required to run a very small restrictor on their cars, which reduces overall horsepower and drives up engine temperatures. In a statement, the teams said that the restrictor causes engine oil and coolant temperatures to rise way above normal. In previous races, they said these issues have caused engine failures and have forced some Mustangs to fail to finish.
Secondly, the Boss Mustang teams said they feel that the SCCA's imposition of the restrictor — a way of leveling a playing field comprised of many different cars — is unfair. They said they met with race officials to try and fix this, but felt their voices were not being heard, hence the protest.
"The Mustang owners and drivers collectively and unanimously feel that the SCCA's method of creating parity is not working and leaves the Mustang with a significant handicap in many areas, and an advantage in NO area," the teams said in the statement.
Driver Justin Bell had strong words for race officials and Ford Motorsports in a video he recorded during the protest.
"We love racing these cars and we wish we were out there right now, but we wanted to make a pretty big statement," Bell said. "Believe it or not, the Mustang 302 is the baseline for this series... But for some reason over the course of the season, the car has been rendered pretty much obsolete."
In the first race on Saturday, no Mustang got higher than 10th place, Bell said.
"The parity in this series is not equal to all. We're not asking to be faster than anyone else. All we want to do is be able to race on an even and fair playing field," he said. "Hopefully, our expectation is that someone very senior at Ford Motorsport will now engage with SCCA and the World Challenge Series to ensure that the Mustang remains a viable and affordable and fast car in this series."
Photo credit Race Shots Resource
(Hat tip to Autospotters!)