NASA Profiles: Eric Jacobsen
Home: Scottsdale, AZ
When he’s not racing: Engineer
Run Group: Time Trial, TTE Class
Car: ’94 Ford Taurus SHO #97
Since it’s admission into the Union on November 2, 1889, the state of South Dakota is responsible for many contributions to the rich history of the United States: Mount Rushmore, the Sturgis motorcycle rally, putting the Ring-Necked Pheasant on a postage stamp, and of course, NASA Time Trial driver Eric Jacobsen! Eric moved to Arizona 25 years ago and the state of South Dakota has been in economic decline ever since. In Arizona as a regular driver in NASA since 2002, and fresh off a recent TTE track record in his Taurus SHO, it’s only fitting that the spotlight this month would focus on Eric. Let’s get to know Eric a little better!
There are two kinds of people who attend NASA events: Those who think whoever drives the orange Ford Taurus is nuts, and those who think whoever drives that orange Ford Taurus is a genius. As a lifetime obsessor of the Ford Taurus—or should I say, since the SHO model was released in 1989—Eric Jacobsen has piloted this vehicle with pride, and managed to break a few egos and set a handful of track records along the way. Eric started with his first Taurus SHO in 1995 when he bought a silver model off the showroom floor. After attending various autocross events for several years, Eric took the jump and joined NASA in May 2002.
After several years of abusing his ’95 SHO on the track, Eric decided it was better to leave that car for stylin’ and profilin’ on the street, and find a suitable replacement for NASA events. Bondurant’s famous “Ford Clearance Sale” meant Eric had the opportunity to buy a Bondurant version Taurus SHO that was already equipped with safety gear and some racing parts. Eric’s method for choosing his particular car is pretty interesting.. “There were three of them for sale, all were automatics. Since I was going to convert it to a manual transmission anyways, I picked the SHO with the most busted up automatic to use as negotiating power on the price. Luckily one of them had a severe shifting problem. The rest was history!”
Eric’s interest in the SHO goes farther than the track records he holds in TT, the seven years of racing history with the car, and the unusually large knowledge of Taurus in Hollywood facts. “Taurus enthusiasts are obsessed with RoboCop…. you know, the first motion picture to show the car!” No Eric, we didn’t know that, but thanks for the information! Keep in mind that his isn’t an ordinary Taurus either. The SHO model uses an aluminum block V6 built by Yamaha that was originally created for the GN34 – Ford’s attempt at a Corvette beater that never came to fruition thanks to the declining exotic sports car market of the late 1980s. The popularity of that engine, which at the time of release was the highest HP/Liter rating of any engine on earth, has spurred SHO clubs in Phoenix where Eric can meet up, mingle, and figure out ways to cram the 3.0L V6 into sand rails, dune buggies, various kit cars and those motorized bar stools you see flying through pit lane.
Favorite Food: Ice cream
First NASA Event: May 2002
Any car, 20 minutes around PIR: Ariel Atom
Give the bird to anyone while on track: Brady (thanks, Eric)
NASA Forum Name: SHOBoy
Outside of the world of NASA, SHOs and motorsports, Eric works full time as an electrical engineer in the wireless communications field and resides in Scottsdale, AZ. Since the time trial program’s inception in Arizona in 2004, Eric has been a regular driver, rarely missing a weekend. As a result, he was season championship runner up in 2006, and has championship titles for 2007 and 2008. Eric looks to continue his success in the TTE class for 2009, with plans to attend the National Championships at Miller Motorsports Park.
Thanks for getting to know Eric Jacobsen, car number 97, a little better! Next time you see Eric in the paddock, quiz him by asking just how many times the Ford Taurus has appeared in a motion picture! 🙂
Written by: Brady Dohrmann