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 DEARBORN, Mich., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- "Fast Fords" have been

winning races through most of this century.
 Since Henry Ford's first race and victory in 1901, and his introduction of the Ford V8 engine in 1933, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) has been a leader and innovator in most forms of automobile racing. Today, Ford is the only automotive manufacturer with interests in what is considered by many to be the world's three major racing series -- IndyCar, NASCAR stock cars and Formula One.
 Ford's 1992 entrance into IndyCar racing marks an opportunity for the Dearborn automaker to showcase its powertrain and electronics technology to millions of IndyCar fans around the world, but particularly in North America. Drivers Michael and Mario Andretti, Eddie Cheever, Robby Gordon and Arie Luyendyk will pilot their 1992 Lola Ford-Cosworths around the superspeedways and road courses of the IndyCar circuit.
 Though it's been more than 20 years since Ford-powered cars have raced at Indianapolis, Ford is no stranger to IndyCar racing. Ford power first appeared at the Indianapolis 500 in 1922, and the company entered with its first full factory support in 1963.
 In the earliest years, Henry Ford and others driving the Model T won numerous road and endurance races, including the 1909 New York-to- Seattle race. Henry Ford, in his famous "999" race car, also set the land-speed record of 91.37 mph in the winter of 1904 on the ice of Lake St. Clair (southeastern Michigan). He was fascinated by Indianapolis, attending the first two races in 1911 and 1912. In fact, a photograph taken by Ford from the infield judge's stand of the 1911 race hangs in the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum today. It shows winner Ray Harroun crossing the finish line of the first 500-mile race.
 Though Henry Ford enjoyed racing, he became concerned about driver safety as speed increased, and on May 2, 1913, he announced that auto racing would no longer be a part of the Ford Motor Company game plan. However, the force he put in motion could not be stopped.
 Independent engineers, amazed by the power-to-weight ratio established by Ford Motor Company vehicles, began modifying both the body and engines of the Model T. Ironically, the Chevrolet brothers were one independent shop turning out modified Fords -- the Frontenac, known as the "Fronty."
 The Frontenac in 1922 used a Ford engine with Frontenac heads. These Fronty-Fords, conversions of the Model T, were capable of turning 5,000 rpm and reaching more than 100 mph. One of them, the Barber- Warnock special driven by L.L. Corrum, finished fifth overall at the 1923 Indy 500, the best finish of a Ford-powered car at Indy until the Lotus-Fords of the 1960s.
 Various unsupported, but Ford-related, racing entities popped up in the '30s, '40s and '50s. But the first official Ford Motor Company entrance into IndyCar racing came in 1963 in a joint partnership with Lotus. That came some 28 years after Edsel Ford commissioned independent engineer Harry Miller to build nine cars for the 1935 Indianapolis 500, where four cars qualified.
 Ford Motor Company's partnership with Lotus quickly became a force with which to be reckoned. It came about when Dan Gurney brought Colin Chapman to the Indy 500 in 1962. Within days, the pair took a proposal to company headquarters in Dearborn, selling Ford Motor Company officials on the advantages of entering the IndyCar series with a Ford- powered, rear-engine Lotus car.
 What the pair did not know was that several race enthusiasts within Ford Motor Company already were excited about the idea of getting Ford's blue oval matched up with the 2.5-mile oval of Indianapolis. Ford engineers Bill Gay and Dave Evans also attended the 1962 race and left the track believing Ford should be involved, especially since the company was well into development of various V8 engines for racing.
 Gay was once described as the best example of the "New Breed" within Ford, a top engine builder who did not know much about racing, but had enough confidence in his engines to let anyone drive them as fast as they would go. He was the major driving force behind the preparation of Ford's first engines for Indianapolis in the 1960s.
 The result was a race car which gave new meaning to dominance at Indianapolis. Within a few years, it influenced the permanent change of IndyCar chassis to rear-engine only.
 Gurney and Jim Clark both entered the 1963 Indy 500, with the only two engines Ford had in the program, a pair of push rod, 4.2-liter Fairlane V8s. Clark finished second at Indianapolis, and later that summer was first across the finish line of the Milwaukee 200, scoring Ford's first official IndyCar win at an average speed of 104.452 mph.
 It was affirmed to Ford that it had something good when phones were ringing off their hooks in Dearborn, with drivers and car owners inquiring about the purchase of engines before the 1964 season.
 Two years later, Clark won the 1965 Indianapolis 500 in a Ford- powered Lotus, at an average speed of 150.686 mph, giving Ford its first win at the famous Brickyard. Ford went on to win a total of 88 IndyCar races from 1963-71 -- 85 of those wins and six Indy 500s coming in just seven seasons, from 1965-71.
 Parnelli Jones, now an off-road Ford Ranger driver in the Ford/ BFGoodrich Rough Rider program, won two IndyCar races in 1964 with Ford power, the Milwaukee 200 and Trenton 200. In 1965, seven different drivers won a total of nine IndyCar races for Ford, including three wins by A.J. Foyt.
 That same year, Mario Andretti emerged on the American racing scene with an impressive third-place performance in the 1965 Indy 500, driving more like a veteran than a rookie IndyCar driver. Consistency in his first two seasons earned him two consecutive driver's championships (1965 and 1966). He won the Indianapolis 500 in 1969, the same year he won his third driver's championship. Andretti has won 24 IndyCar races with the power of a Ford engine. He is the only driver to have won the IndyCar and Formula One championships powered by Ford, and was the first driver to win the Daytona 500 (1967, Ford Fairlane) and Indianapolis 500.
 Ford-powered IndyCars won 10 races in 1966, 15 in 1967 and 12 in 1968. By far the best year for Ford was 1969, with 16 IndyCar wins. Sixteen was a lucky number, as Ford went on to win 16 consecutive IndyCar races -- the last 10 of 1970 and the first six of the 1971 campaign. Al Unser took 13 of those 16 consecutive wins, winning the driver's championship in 1970. Joe Leonard won Ford's most recent IndyCar driver's championship in 1971.
 Ford's most recent venture into the IndyCar racing scene with long- time racing partner Cosworth Engineering carries on a relationship which dates back more than 30 years. The unique partnership began in 1959, when two young engineers, Keith Duckworth and Mike Costin, recognized the potential of a new passenger-car engine developed by Ford of Britain. Duckworth and Costin first met while working for Lotus Engineering Company, then formed their own partnership called Cosworth Engineering.
 The duo was examining production engines from which power units could be built for single-seater racing series. They quickly agreed that the Ford engine offered the most promise. Thus began what many regard as the most successful racing partnership in history. Cosworth- prepared, four-cylinder Ford engines came to dominate many European series over the next several years, including Formula Junior, F3, F2 and sundry sports car series.
 Cosworth then produced a 90-degree V8 engine with twin overhead cams on each bank and four valves per cylinder -- the Ford-Cosworth DFV (Double Four Valves). In its first Formula One race, the 1967 Grand Prix of the Netherlands, the DFV engine powered Jim Clark to the winner's circle, the first of 154 Grand Prix wins. (Five more F1 wins have since come with various other Ford-Cosworth powerplants.)
 Cosworth itself also has an impressive list of IndyCar achievements, highlighted by a string of 81 consecutive wins from 1981-86.
 Cosworth Engineering totaled 153 IndyCar wins in the decade from 1978-87, including 10 consecutive Indianapolis 500 victories and all 10 driver's championships. Mario Andretti picked up his fourth driver's championship, with Cosworth power, in 1984.
 The liaison between Ford and Cosworth, however, is not restricted to motorsports. It has broadened to passenger-car applications, particularly over the past decade.
 Undoubtedly, as the Lola Ford-Cosworths of Michael and Mario Andretti, Eddie Cheever, Robby Gordon and Arie Luyendyk race in the 1992 PPG/IndyCar World Championship Series, 34 years after the beginning of this unique partnership, automotive experts will again look for success and a continuation of the technological leadership and expertise Ford and Cosworth have attained.
 -0- 5/5/92
 /CONTACT: Kevin Kennedy or Todd Goyer of Campbell & Co., 313-336-0244 or 317-299-5327, for Ford Motor Company/
 (F) CO: Ford Motor Company; Indianapolis 500; Cosworth Engineering ST: Michigan, Indiana IN: AUT SU:

SM -- NYIFNS6 -- 6323 05/05/92 07:17 EDT
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Date:May 5, 1992

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