A Season Of Change
In little more than a week, the No. 60 ROUSH Performance Mustang will head on track for the first time with the Pirelli World Challenge. "I'm very excited to get to work in the new series," says Jack Roush Jr. "This year will be one of several areas of change, and I'm looking forward to taking on the challenge and seeing where we stack up."
Since 2006, Jack Roush Jr. has been racing in Grand-Am's Continental Tire Series. This new series has several new tracks for the team, including the season opener at St. Petersburg. Other new tracks for Jack Jr. include Long Beach, Detroit's Belle Isle, Sonoma, and Toronto. As you can see, many of the tracks listed here are street courses, where Grand-Am has no standing street courses. The only street course during the ROUSH team’s tenure there was at Trois Riviere in Quebec.
Although the GTS class Mustang of the Pirelli World Challenge is similar to that in Grand-Am, there are some significant differences. The big Pirelli P-Zero slicks and improved down-force both make for added performance. "During our pre-season tests, the car definitely drove a bit differently than I'm used to," say Jack Jr. "However, with the practice sessions that we did over the winter, I feel pretty comfortable with the new handling, and I think we should be in good shape."
Another significant change is in the race format. Where the Continental Tire Series are typically 2.5 hours in length with a minimum of two drivers and rolling starts, the Pirelli World Challenge races are between 50 and 60 minutes in length and have only one driver per car. Also, the series features both standing and rolling starts.
The "Distractor Face" was an original concept first used by ROUSH Performance back in June of 2012. Contests allow Facebook fans of ROUSH Performance to submit and vote for what face gets placed on the back of the race car for a given race — "distracting" the other drivers. A Distractor Face contest is now running for the St. Pete event.
Login to DistractorFace.com to submit your photo or vote for someone else.
St. Pete Course Background
St. Pete is a temporary course run on existing roads and one of the landing strips of Albert Whitted Airport in St. Petersburg, Florida. The course has 14 turns and is fairly short at 1.8 miles in length. It may be the case that St. Petersburg has the same challenges as many street courses, but the team cannot confirm because it is a new course for them. Here are some of the common challenges with racing on street courses:
- The texture of the road can be very bumpy compared to a purpose-built course.
- The brakes can easily overheat at courses like these -- the reason being that the air flow is restricted over the course itself with the cement walls that surround the track.
- The grip can vary greatly across the course based on different types of pavement used and different levels of wear.
There will be two races at this event:
- Saturday, March 29 3:25-4:25pm
- Sunday, March 30, 11:25am-12:25pm
The event will be televised on NBC Sports Network on Sunday, April 6 at 5:30pm and Saturday, April 12 at 12:30am.
The ROUSH Road Racing team is very proud to be associated with the world-class companies that it has as sponsors: ROUSH Performance, Ford Racing, PFC Brakes, KW Suspensions, Quarter Master, PWR, Mechanix Wear, EATON, BMRS, MPC Promotions, Meguiar's, Pirelli, HJC Motorsports, and Sparco.