MUSTANG SIGNED OFF FOR 2019Ben Nightingale
Ford Mustang has been officially approved by Supercars ahead of 2019 entry into the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
The Ford Mustang Supercar has been homologated for competition ahead of its debut in the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, which commences at the season-opening Superloop Adelaide 500 next March
The homologation is a significant milestone for the collaborative partnership between Ford, its Ford Performance arm, Shell V-Power Racing Team and Tickford Racing, with the combined goal of homologation for 2019 publically announced in April 2018
2018 Supercars Champion Scott McLaughlin and Shell V-Power Racing teammate Fabian Coulthard carried out initial testing, with the final parity tests conducted by Supercars to confirm the specification, aerodynamic package and performance of the Mustang
“Today, Mustang passed a significant milestone in its return to the track,” said Ford Australia and New Zealand President and CEO, Kay Hart.“We’re proud of the partnership we share with Ford Performance, DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing, in achieving the goal of a competition-ready Mustang for the 2019 season, and beyond.”
“This is the final step in seeing the iconic Ford Mustang back on Australian race circuits, and we can’t wait to see it in its full glory at the Adelaide 500 next year,” Supercars CEO Sean Seamer said. “DJR Team Penske, Tickford Racing and Ford Performance have done an outstanding job to build a Supercar which will no doubt continue Ford’s successes of this year.”
The Ford Mustang’s testing included private shakedown tests,with expertise on hand from Ford Performance, DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing. The driving was conducted by newly crowned champion, Scott McLaughlin, and his teammate Fabian Coulthard.
Brian Novak, Ford Performance Motorsports Supervisor, spoke of the collaborative effort in achieving the homologation of the Mustang Supercar for the 2019 season. “This has been a huge effort from everyone involved, and a credit to the professionalism and commitment of the teams,”said Novak.
“We’ve worked hard to deliver a Mustang that is capable of winning races and claiming championships, which is Ford Performance’s reason for being, and the Mustang Supercar has also benefited greatly from the talent of the teams – DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing – to culminate in what should be a formidable package.”
The work completed so far is the beginning of a campaign tosee Mustang drivers stand on the top-step of the Supercars podium, Novak added.“We’ve all worked tirelessly to reach this milestone, because as we saw with the climax of the 2018 season, Supercars is an extremely fierce category with an extremely high level of competition,” he said. “It takes serious talent and skill to be a success in this sport, and now we’re looking forward to seeing the race car revealed, and then heading to the track for Adelaide next year.”
Ryan Story, Managing Director of Shell V-Power Racing Team, is also looking ahead, with an eye on the future development process that can begin following the successful homologation of Mustang.
“The Mustang project has now been ongoing for over 18months, so getting the tick of approval through the VCAT [V8 Supercars Aerodynamic Testing] process is a great milestone,” Story said. “That is only step one for us, however, as we must now get the race cars built and ready to perform for the 2019 season. We’re very proud of Mustang in our first effort as Ford’s Supercars homologation team, and are very much looking forward to doing the ‘Blue Oval’ proud in coming years.”
The 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship will include at least six Ford Mustangs, with 2018 Champion Scott McLaughlin and Shell V-Power Racing teammate Fabian Coulthard joined by four Tickford Australia Mustangs including 2014 Bathurst winner Chaz Mostert’s #55.
“It’s great to see the Mustang take this step in the project and complete its homologation,” said Tim Edwards, Team Principal of Tickford Racing. “Of course it’s been a huge effort from all involved and we’re happy with the result. Now the fun part starts, and we can shift our focus to getting our cars race ready for 2019. We can’t wait.”
The Ford Mustang’s inaugural race will be Round 1 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, at the Superloop Adelaide 500 from February 28 – March 3, 2019.