17 Apr 2018
In a significant announcement, Ford has thrown financial and technical support behind two Blue Oval outfits in the Supercars Championship with the homologation of its Mustang performance car for the 2019 series.
Both Shell V-Power Racing and Tickford Racing will continue running a five-litre V8 engine (as opposed to the road-going V6 twin turbo), in what represents the first time a non-Falcon will be raced by the Blue Oval in the series.
The American Ford Performance brand will work with DJR Team Penske, which runs Shell V-Power Racing, and Tickford on the development of the Supercar.
“We’re proud to announce that Ford Australia, with our Ford Performance global team, is working with DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing to homologate Mustang for 2019,” said Ford Australia president and chief executive Graeme Whickman.
“There’s been a lot of speculation and calls for Mustang to be on the track, and as a Ford Performance model that’s raced around the world, it’s fitting that Australia’s most popular sports car should be on our race tracks.”
The announcement marks the return of the Mustang badge to the top flight of Australian touring car racing, having won five consecutive championships from 1965-1969 with Norm Beechey and Ian Geoghegan.
It means Ford’s two stalwart outfits, which have continued running the FGX Falcon despite the absence of manufacturer backing since 2014, will remain in the series in a huge win for the blue army.
Previously, DJR Team Penske co-owner Roger Penske (who runs Mustangs in the NASCAR Xfinity Series) had canvassed approaching other manufacturers.
What they said…
Dick Johnson, co-owner DJR Team Penske
Throughout the entire history of this team, we’ve never run anything but a Ford, and this announcement today is fantastic,” said Johnson.
“The fact that we will be able to build and race Mustang in the 2019 Supercars Championship is music to my ears. It’s great to be back in the Ford fold, and we’ll continue to ensure that we give Ford - and its millions of fans – something to cheer about.”
Roger Penske, co-owner DJR Team Penske
“This is an exciting announcement for DJR Team Penske and for the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
“We have been working closely with the Ford Motor Company over the past few years and this really builds a lot of momentum for Supercars.
"Ford’s dedication to the technical aspects of this process will continue to raise the bar for DJR Team Penske and the other Ford teams.
"The Mustang brand has such an iconic history in motorsports and it will be great to be racing them in multiple Series.”
Rod Nash, Tickford Racing co-owner
"Having Ford back on the Supercars grid and with its iconic Mustang is going to be brilliant for the whole sport."
“Mustang is Ford’s halo brand and with its 54th birthday it keeps recording more milestones, but I think having a Mustang Supercar is going to be a very significant one for the brand in this country."
“We welcome the Mustang to Supercars, and it’s fantastic that Ford, and its Ford Performance division, see the Supercars Championship as a great competitive environment and also a strong marketing platform to be involved in."
“This is a landmark day for Australian motorsport and the teams involved.”