Monday, February 18, 2013

Movie Monday: This Cougar lasts all night

In the crapcan world, Ford's Fox platform presents a lurid challenge to prospective racers. The platform offers a bevy of front-engine, rear-drive types with drivetrains a plenty from which to choose. The Mustang remains the most popular choice, but one of the most successful Fox-body crapcans has been Tiger's Wood PGA Racing Racing/Anti-EPA Racing wretched-looking Mercury Cougar XR7.

With two race wins, three podiums and more than a handful of Top 10 finishes, the Tiger's Wood car proves that a V8 cars--despite being harder on gas, brakes and tires than entries with fewer cylinders--can finish at the sharp end of the field regularly.

In October 2012, the Cougar produced a resounding victory in the 25:25:25 ChumpCar race at Nelson Ledges, traveling 993 times around the Ohio circuit to best the second-place Team Jager-Bombs Mazda RX-7 by nine laps.

Not only was the former personal luxury coupe durable, it also clocked the race's fastest lap with a 1:19.3, which edged out the Jager-Bombs' RX-7 by 0.1 second.

Those two teams were certainly the class of the field; the third-place Skidmark Posse Honda Prelude finished a distant 36 laps behind Tiger's Wood and no other team cracked the 1:20 mark on a lap.

So what's it like to drive the FoMoCo hulk around Nelson Ledges? Here's seven minutes of video to give you an idea. Enjoy the gutteral hum of the 5.0L V8, the screech of tires under controlled duress and the whoosh of the wind at speed on Nelson Ledges' long back straight.

As some guy once said in a movie, "She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts."

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