The Ford Mustang Supercar racer has been officially launched today by Ford Australia, Shell V-Power Racing, and Tickford Racing.
After a ‘soft launch’ last year with the camo-covered car being announced to the public, this marks the first time we’ve seen the Mustang Supercar as it’s to race though 2019 and beyond.
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer has called it the beginning of the next era of Supercars – an era in which many expect the Camaro to become the Mustang’s rival.
“For Supercars, the Mustang ushers in a new era,” Seamer says.
“It’s a product that you see readily on the road, it’s been super successful for Ford globally and here in Australia, and it gives the opportunity to reach younger and older generations with a fantastic looking race car.”
While public opinion of the camo car had been mixed, with its proportions changed from that of the road car to fit the Supercars requirements, Shell V-Power Racing team principal Ryan Story says the car now looks as it’s supposed to.
“Today is when we show the fans what the Mustang Supercar really looks like, ready for the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship,” says Story.
“This project wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Ford Australia, the Ford Asia Pacific Design studio, and the pivotal involvement of Ford Performance in the United States.”
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Ford Performance motorsports supervisor Brian Novak says the development undertaken in the US is tried and tested, and couldn’t have happened without a significant amount of Australian involvement.
“I’m really proud of the team in North America, and I’m really proud of the team down in Australia,” says Novak.
“We use the same processes to develop the Supercar that we do the NASCAR Mustang, that we do the Mustang GT4, that we do the NHRA Funny Car Mustang.
“That development has been proven out through other programs – the Ford GT at Le Mans for example – and we then transfer that back, that knowledge, back to the road car.”
Six Mustangs will take to the grid in 2019, fielded by Shell/DJR Team Penske, Tickford, and Phil Munday’s 23Red racing team.
2018 Supercars champion Scott McLaughlin will take to the track on the Mustang’s race debut during the Adelaide 500 at the end of February, with the number 17 adorning the car as a nod to DJR Team Penske part-owner Dick Johnson.
In my eyes, the new Mustang is one of the best Supercars we’ve ever seen,” says Johnson.
“It’s a great honour, from my point of view, that Scotty has decided to run the number 17. He could have chosen the number one, but he chose 17, and that makes me very proud.”
The first track appearance for the Mustang Supercar will be at the February 14 Phillip Island Supercars test ahead of the first round of 2019 in Adelaide.