‘FANGA DAN’ WOOLHOUSE’S NEW ROUSH YATES RY45
t may be a few rounds short of the season opener, but ‘Fanga Dan’ has finally landed himself his new D1NZ comp car, in the form of a 2017 RTR Spec 5-D Mustang previously campaigned in Formula Drift by Vaughn Gittin Jr.
The chassis is a work of drift art, but it’s the Roush Yates Engines (RYE) ‘crate’ motor that makes us go all giddy every time the loud pedal is mashed. Known as the ‘RY45’, the all-aluminium 90-degree small block is a race engine through and through, and shares the same basic block and head architecture as the current iron-block FR9 Nascar engine used by all Ford teams since 2009, with great success. The RY is run in a wide variety of motorsports in its carb, injected, and boosted variants, including late-model dirt-track (speedway) and off-road racing — basically any sport that does not require the iron block.
The amount of R&D that Roush poured into the project is astonishing, building on the constant development of the factory-backed Nascar FR and taking it to the next level. Every component is designed and analysed in-house extensively, right down to the bearings and studs. The block itself is cast using high-quality T6 alloy, and, similar to the RY, it has a cast-in cam channel to avoid oil dropping on the crank. It’s also located much higher in the valley to keep the pushrod length short and minimize rod deflection and valve lift at high rpm. There are internal oil galleries for piston and valve-spring squirters machined from billet. The coolant passages have received considerable development to ensure that each piston is cooled equally, with the water entering low in the block and exiting via separate ports near each intake port (crossflow). The balancer is located behind the timing belt to bring weight closer to the crank centre and thus further back in the chassis. Unlike the RYs, the dry-sump pan can be a fabricated item; Fanga’s is made in-house at RTR to suit the chassis and uses an Auto Verdi dry-sump pump. There is also extra oil baffling so that the oil copes with the high G-loading unique to drifting. While anyone can purchase RY45 parts and build a motor up, especially since there’s plenty of aftermarket support, RTR works with RYE to build, freshen, and tune in-house at RYE. It’s simply a drop-in-and-play situation for RTR and now Fanga’s FDC Motorsport, with oil changes the only maintenance the boys are required to perform. In case you’re wondering, it runs a water-like 0W-5 oil. Being similar spec to the dirttrack variants, Fanga’s sits at 14.1:1 compression, has four-inch stroke, and has the smaller of the two bore sizes available ( 105.4mm). This places capacity at 436ci — or 7.14 litres in our language. The heads are super lightweight 16-valve wedge-port Ford Performance castings and RYE has spent considerable time optimizing the valve-train angle. The valve train is what you would find in a Nascar vehicle, featuring a solid roller camshaft, titanium valves, and lightweight solid rockers. Uniquely, the engine runs Kinsler eight-stack injection and a Motec M8 ECU. The headers are RTR four-into-one units with minimal mufflers to give the engine the loud roar that you’d expect from an American V8. Run on C12 race fuel, current power figures are posted at 634kW, but it’s the tyre-melting torque that really makes the difference, and, with a power band that goes from 4500rpm right through to redline, it’s perfectly suited to the sport, in which minimum gear changes are ideal. Currently, the engine is limited while Fanga finds his feet. “It’ll do 9000rpm easy, but I haven’t done it yet. I’ve got the limiter set at 8000[rpm],” he says. But, as Fanga explains, the goal is not to find the limiter at all, because, if you’re doing that, more grip needs to be dialled into the rear: “You shouldn’t be able to just smash the limiter. The car is set up for maximum rear-end grip, so you want to feel it bite, and you have to really push it.”