2011 Ford Mustang GT, The Official Pace Car of the Daytona 500Dearborn, Michigan – The 2011 Mustang GT will serve as the Official Pace Car at the 52nd Daytona 500, the first time in 40 years a Ford vehicle has paced the NASCAR race.

The 5.0-litre equipped car, which carries a special Daytona 500 striped paint scheme, will later be auctioned at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Collector Car Auction in Arizona on January 23, with all proceeds over the car’s MSRP donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

“This is the resurgence of Ford, and pacing the field at the Daytona 500 is a great opportunity to showcase all of the technology that the new 2011 Mustang 5.0 brings to deliver 412 horsepower and projected unsurpassed highway mileage of 25 mpg,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas.

Over the past three years, Ford has raised more than US$2 million for JDRF through the sale of vehicles at Barrett-Jackson.

The last time a Ford product paced the Daytona 500 was in 1970, when the Ford Torino GT convertible was used.

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