11-05-08: In the main hall at SEMA, Ford Racing's Brian Wolfe fired up the supercharged 5.4 engine and we all went deaf. This car is loud, rap-crackling mean, and is nothing short of a genuine race car. You too can order one from your local Ford Racing Parts dealership for racing pursuits.
Ford Press Release:
With the addition of the 2008 Cobra Jet Mustang, Ford Racing will have once again expanded its current stable of race-ready Mustang race cars.
This time, however, the Mustang is designed for drag racing.
The Mustang FR500CJ, known simply as the Cobra Jet, will be officially unveiled Nov. 4 at the 2008 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. It joins its road racing brethren: the Mustang FR500S, the Mustang FR500C and the Mustang FR500GT.
“The Cobra Jet is the newest offspring of the Ford Racing lineup of race cars,” said Jamie Allison, manager of the Ford Racing Performance Group. “We started with the FR500C in 2005 and then followed by the FR500S in 2007.
“All along the way, we worked with Brian Wolfe, who, at the time, was really in the calibration activity. He oversaw worldwide calibrations, and he was a big supporter of Ford Racing, both professionally and personally,” Allison said. “He had always kind of asked us about our plans to do a drag race car and the time had just come early this year to, indeed, take all of the lessons we learned, all the processes, all of the relationships that we have inside with the plant and with the team and put together a sportsmen-destined drag race Mustang. Clearly, what we did in 1968 is the impetus for it, and we felt that it was time to bring back the Cobra Jet.”
The Cobra Jet is the drag racing equivalent of the Mustang FR500S, allowing those interested in NHRA sportsmen drag racing the opportunity to get involved with an affordable vehicle that can compete right off of the truck and run in the 10-second range.
“We are talking about designing and building competition-ready race cars,” added Allison. “These are not just the simple parts that we sometimes create. This is a full-fledged, ready to race vehicle. There is a lot of engineering that goes into the preparation, development, testing, and release of these cars. There’s a full team of engineers from Ford Racing who have been involved on the engineering side of the Ford Racing Mustangs, led by Andy Slankard who leads the group. On the Cobra Jet, that group was personally directed and overseen by Brian Wolfe because of his personal background of racing in the sportsmen class. So he’s been hands-on involved in the very specifications of the 40th anniversary Cobra Jet. ”
In addition to the Cobra Jet, the other Ford Racing Mustangs provide customers a racing ladder, all within one manufacturer, to climb up through the ranks of professional racing. The Ford Racing Mustang ladder in road racing begins with the Ford Racing High Performance Driving School at Miller Motorsports Park featuring specially prepared school Mustangs.
The next step on the ladder is the Mustang FR500S, which is delivered as a race-ready vehicle complete with a racing seat and safety harnesses, and provides competitors with a base to hone their driving skills and an exciting year-long schedule to race against other semi-pro drivers in the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge for the Miller Cup.
Moving further up the ladder puts racers behind the wheel of the Mustang FR500C, which competes in the Grand-Am KONI Challenge Series, and the FR500GT4, which competes in the GT4 European Cup. Both Mustangs are proven winners with each car having won championships in its first year of competition. The FR500C led drivers to championships in 2005 and 2008, while the FR500GT4 has won two titles in the GT4 European Cup in 2007 and 2008.
At the top of the ladder sit both the Mustang FR500GT and FR500GT3, which represent the ultimate race-bred road racing Mustang. The FR500GT is being homologated for Grand-Am Rolex GT and other applications, while the FR500GT3 has already competed in select FIA GT3 European Championship races.