History was made Wednesday at Daytona International Speedway as Michael Shank Racing’s new Ford EcoBoost-powered Riley Daytona Prototype smashed a 26-year old track record, while also unofficially breaking two longstanding world speed records.
Sports car racing standout Colin Braun took the 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 powered prototype to a one-lap 222.971 mph average around the 2.5-mile high banked oval.
It came after a number of record-setting runs this afternoon, all eclipsing the previous record 210.364 mph lap laid down by NASCAR’s Bill Elliott in a Ford Thunderbird on Feb. 9, 1987.
Braun’s times also broke the standing 10 kilometer (202.438 mph) and 10-mile (210.018) world speed records, pending FIA homologation.
“It’s certainly really special to hold the record here at Daytona,” Braun said. “This is the place where I got my first professional sports car win in the GRAND-AM Rolex Series with a Ford-powered DP car. It’s always been a historic place for a lot of people.
“This is hallowed ground here at Daytona, so it’s really special to hold the record at this place. To get to do it with a group of guys like Mike Shank and with the new EcoBoost Ford motor, it’s a special day, for sure.”
Running specially designed Continental tires, the record-breaking run came with the same Roush Yates-tuned Ford powerplant that will be used in competition in next year’s Tudor United SportsCar Championship.
Michael Shank Racing was announced as the partner team for the new EcoBoost engine next year in USCC competition.
“I can’t believe, in my whole racing career, that I’d have an opportunity to do something like this,” Shank said of the record-breaking run. “I never thought we could. If you think about how fast we went around here in a Daytona Prototype car is a little bit surreal.
“This thing is extremely fast and I’m extremely proud of it. I think it bodes well for the future of sports car racing in the U.S. Daytona Prototypes are not slow cars. They are very, very capable cars and I think we proved that here today.”