Although Mike McCarthy’s officially endorsed Ford F-150 Baja 1000 race truck, powered by Ford’s 3.5-liter EcoBoost twin turbo V6 has been getting a lot of press lately, there’s another outfit that’s been diligently working on their own rig. Also competing in the Best In The Desert race series is Randy Merritt and his team Mongo Racing.
Until now, BITD race trucks were only allowed to run normally aspirated V8s or diesels, but now the series has altered the rules to allow the EcoBoost to compete, in the stock 8000 and 8100 classes, giving Merritt and crew an opportunity to jump on the new bandwagon. However, much like on main street, the EcoBoost is polarizing opinion in the race series – some loving it, others hating it.
With its diesel-like torque curve, the EcoBoost delivers the low down grunt noticeably absent from the older 4.6 and 5.4-liter V8s, but, still there are many who are skeptical about the reliability of this new technology – part of the reason why Ford has gone to great lengths to put together an add campaign where an EcoBoost engine is flogged within an inch of its life in multiple scenarios, including use in McCarthy’s Baja Race Truck.
In the BITD series, however, Merritt notes another potential issue – those threatened by the new engine, simply because they’ve invested a lot of time and money in tuning normally aspirated V8s. “It’s pretty exciting to do something new like this,” he says, “but there are a lot of haters, people are scared of technology.”
Merritt has been desert racing since 1993 and was the 2006 BITD factory stock champion; though even he admits, that with technology this new, everything’s still up in the air. Nevertheless, this coming weekend at the Blue Water Desert Challenge race in Arizona, Mongo Racing is going to give it their best shot with their latest F-150. It will be interesting to see how the EcoBoost truck performs in anger.
[Source: Pickup trucks.com]