News: Justin Pawlak Drift Aluminator

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Justin Pawlak runs a supercharged Ford Performance 5.0 in Formula Drift

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Performance

The Formula Drift season recently kicked off on the streets of Long Beach, California, and Mustang pilot Justin Pawlak opted to power his Black Stallion with a new engine combo this season. The basis of his powerplant is a new Ford Performance crate engine topped by Roush Performance/Ford Performance supercharger system.

You can watch Justin Pawlak exercise his new supercharged Aluminator SC combo on the Formula Drift circuit this season.
You can watch Justin Pawlak exercise his new supercharged Aluminator SC combo on the Formula Drift circuit this season.

The engine in question is the Ford Performance Racing Parts (PN M-6007-A50SC; $9,299) Aluminator SC, which is hand-assembled and spin-tested at the Ford Performance engine build line before it is shipped. This engine is a more robust version of the same Coyote 5.0-liter engine found in today’s Mustangs and F-150s, so it’s a great option for those that want more power than the stock engine is meant to withstand.

“This is exactly the type of application for which the Ford Performance Aluminator engines were designed and developed,” Mike Delahanty, Ford Performance Engine Product Manager, said. “The 5.0-liter Coyote Aluminator in Justin’s drift Mustang delivers plenty of power and lots of rpm—the right combination for keeping the tires smoking.”

What makes this engine even more suitable for Justin’s supercharged application is implied by this Aluminator’s “SC” designation. Obviously it stands for supercharged, and this FPRP engine is boost ready thanks to its 9.5:1 compression ratio, Graphal-coated Mahle forged pistons, and Manley H-beam connecting rods with ARP fasteners. The engine is also equipped with billet oil pump gears for maximum durability, and it’s even shipped with colder spark plugs installed, so it’s ready for boost right out of the box.

Ford Performance Racing Parts’ Aluminator SC 5.0-liter engine is built for boost with Mahle forged pistons, Mahle forged connecting rods, and a 9.5:1 compression ratio. The engine runs production camshafts, but it is upgraded with Boss 302 valve springs for better revving capabilities and billet oil pump drive gears for enhanced durability.
Ford Performance Racing Parts’ Aluminator SC 5.0-liter engine is built for boost with Mahle forged pistons, Manley forged connecting rods, and a 9.5:1 compression ratio. The engine runs production camshafts, but it is upgraded with Boss 302 valve springs for better revving capabilities and billet oil pump drive gears for enhanced durability.

The crew at Ford Performance recently sat down with Justin to discuss his transition from a big-cube, naturally aspirated to supercharged 5.0-liter in his competition drift machine.

“The power delivery still feels really good. The torque is up from last year as is the horsepower—and there appears to be quite a bit left on the table from the original tune. By the end of the year, we’ll probably be closer to 900-plus (horsepower) but the power delivery seems really good,” Justin explained. “There are inherent issues running the supercharger setup. It generates a lot of heat so you need to account for that as well as the supercharger belt. We’ve tested it, and we’re working hard to rectify those issues to be as competitive as possible with the off-the-shelf engine platform we’re attempting to use this year.”

Topping Justin’s Aluminator SC 5.0-liter engine is a Roush/Ford Performance 2.3-liter TVS supercharger system, which breathes through a Ford Performance Racing Parts Cobra Jet throttle body.
Topping Justin’s Aluminator SC 5.0-liter engine is a Roush Performance/Ford Performance 2.3-liter TVS supercharger system, which breathes through a Ford Performance Racing Parts Cobra Jet throttle body.

The new combo helped Justin make it to the second round in Long Beach where he lost to the event’s eventual runner-up.

“I’m so proud of my team this weekend,” Justin added. “We work extremely well together and I’m super excited about the positivity each and every one of these guys brings to the table…”

If you want to see Justin smoking tires with his new Aluminator combo, the next stop on the Formula Drift tour is from May 8-9 at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia.

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