February '17

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22 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2017 W ith speed at the heart of all motor- sports competition, it shouldn't be surprising that change can come in a hurry. Once called a disruption by Henry Ford, motorsports now faces disruptions of its own as the racing and performance land- scape evolves at a rapid pace. Factors from ridesharing to videogames, autonomous vehicles to dwindling resources could all affect an industry built to go fast or go home. A panel of experts ranging from OEM representatives to race series executives took the stage during the SEMA Show to dis- cuss the future of motorsports at the 2016 Racing & Performance Forum. What they revealed is that the landscape could quickly become unrecognizable for those who can't, or won't, keep up. TRIED & TRUE Racing has long been the ultimate test of skill and bravery for drivers willing to push past their limits. Carmakers, however, view it as a proving ground for the cutting-edge designs and innovations that continue to march the industry forward. "The investment we make in racing is paying off in people's driveways," says Dave Pericak, global director of Ford Per- formance, citing an EcoBoost engine that makes more than 600 hp as an example of technology developed through track time. Motorsports involvement also boosts the company's profile, he adds, pointing to programs and affiliations including Ford's work with M-Sport, Hoonigan and Ken Block, FIA World Rallycross Champion- ship and others. From the new Mustang Shelby GT350 to the in-development GT4 race car, Pericak believes it's vital the company continues to build on its storied racing heritage. For General Motors, the Chevrolet Per- formance program has a three-fold mission to create successful performance variants, performance parts and motorsports pro- grams, says Jim Campbell, GM's VP of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "We learn from motorsports and drive what we learn to our performance variants" such as the ZL1 and Cadillac V offerings, he says, explaining that both sides benefit from a back-and-forth exchange of infor- mation. Racing is serious business, he continues, noting that GM uses its racing arm for: 1. Technology transfer to make its products better; CHANGING ON THE FLY Motorsports fights to maintain relevancy in an evolving landscape. By Jef White Once called a "disruption" by Henry Ford, motorsports now faces disruptions of its own as the racing and performance land- scape evolves at a rapid pace. PERFORMANCE

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