SKILLMAN FORD WILL DEBUT 2013 SUPER COBRA JET MUSTANG AT MICHIGAN ADRL SUPERCAR SHOWDOWN!
By Bret Kepner
While the Ford Motor Company has dominated the American Drag Racing League's spectacular new SuperCar Showdown category, fans attending the ADRL Summer Drags VIII on June 13-14 are in for a thrilling surprise. The event, contested at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan, will be the site of the first public competition appearance of the radical new 2013 Mustang Super Cobra Jet.
Drew Skillman, who won his first ADRL SuperCar Showdown title at the Gateway Drags IV at Madison, Illinois, in June, announced the Skillman Ford team will unveil a new 2013 model in SCS competition with virtually no modifications; the new Super Cobra Jet will be taken directly off the showroom floor and thrown into battle.
"I guess it's only fitting we debut the car in Michigan since that's where it was built", said the twenty-four year-old from the team's Ray Skillman Performance Ford headquarters in Indianapolis. "We race what we sell and we wanted to be the first to get one of the new Super Cobra Jets on the track. The ADRL is the only place which allows any unmodified production car to compete in true non-handicapped drag racing and we've already focused the efforts of all our 2012 Cobra Jets toward their series. We really have no idea of the new car's potential since we just took delivery of it here at the dealership. Because we've had no real development time, our supercharged 2013 CJ will be racing without so much as a 'tune-up'. It will be interesting to see how it does but, based on the improvements on the new model, it should run exceptionally well".
Andrew Casselberry, Project Manager at Ford Racing, supplied rare construction photos in anticipation of the first public racing appearance of the new Super Cobra Jet. Noted Casselberry, "Ford Racing keeps building more bullets for the ADRL's SuperCar Showdown. We just shipped the first 2013 Cobra Jets on June 27. Construction of the Cobra Jets started several weeks ago and we expect to have all of them completed in the next two weeks. The first car shipped, a black supercharged Cobra Jet with optional graphics, went to Sam Pack Ford in Plano, Texas".
Casselberry added, "All the 2013 Cobra Jets are delivered race-prepped and ready for the ADRL SuperCar Showdown Series. The 2013 Cobra Jets are available in black, white and silver paint colors. There are several updates to the 2013 Cobra Jet; the new engine between the frame rails is the 5.0L Ti-VCT engine. It's offered in both supercharged and naturally-aspirated configurations. Some of the other updates include Recaro fixed-back race seats, a new rollcage design, a removable steering wheel and a new starting line RPM control unit".
The 2013 Super Cobra Jet will differ from the 2012 model in multiple areas. A new front fascia gives the car a distinctive look but its new powertrain has drawn rave reviews even before it went Into production. The new aluminum 5.0-liter engine, (302 cubic inches), may be of smaller displacement than the previous aluminum engine, (a 5.4L/330 c.I. model), but the brake horsepower rating is reportedly higher. The previous 2.3-liter Eaton TVS supercharger has been replaced with a larger 2.9L model produced by Whipple Superchargers. The new engine/supercharger combination is lighter and will place a larger, (albeit still undisclosed), percentage of the vehicle's weight on the rear wheels.
With the tremendous amount of media attention being directed toward the debut of the new 2013 Mustang, it came as no small shock when Skillman admitted he'll be driving his Gateway Drags-winning 2012 Cobra Jet in competition at the Summer Drags in Michigan. Behind the wheel of the new 2013 Ford will be current NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle star Wesley Wells who has driven a wide variety of machinery in his thirty-year career. "Wes has worked here at Ray Skillman Ford for years", said Drew, "and he has made plenty of runs in our race cars. Wes is an integral part of the crew which allowed me to set the SuperCar Showdown Elapsed Time and Speed records and I think he'll have a lot of fun in the new car. Also, he's the kind of guy who'll immediately begin to look for ways to make it faster!".
Why will Skillman stick to driving his 2012 Mustang? "It's the quickest and fastest production car in the ADRL SuperCar Showdown", replied Skillman. "There's no need for me to switch cars right now. Bo Butner 'called me out' before the last event at Richmond and, unfortunately, we couldn't attend the race. We're back and ready to go so I guess you could say I have some unfinished business with Bo. I'm not going to say anything else. I prefer to let my Mustang do the talking...on the track".