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Ford’s Mustang Supercar steps out
McLaughlin takes Ford Mustang for its first Supercar homologation test laps
7 Nov 2018
FORD’S new Mustang Supercar racer has hit the test track in Queensland for homologation testing ahead of its debut in the 2019 Supercars Championship season.
Series leader Scott McLaughlin, of DJR Team Penske, had the honour of taking the V8 coupe for its maiden laps at Queensland Raceway in the first of three days of shakedown tests, hence the number 17 on the car.
The Mustang – the first coupe to be accepted into the field in the Supercars era – will replace the discontinued FG Falcon in the armoury of Ford Supercars teams, including Penske and Tickford Racing, next season.
The racecar is being jointly developed by Ford Performance in the United States in league with the two race teams, using Supercars’ control chassis that also underpins the rival Holden Commodore and Nissan Altima.
The bodywork of the Mustang has had to be stretched and modified to fit over the chassis, meaning the dimensions are not identical to the production version.
McLaughlin, who shared driving duties with fellow DJR Team Penske driver Fabian Coulthard, said it was an honour to drive the first laps of the new Mustang.
“Not only does it just look right, and sound awesome, but it feels right too,” he said. “In terms of balance, settings, we’re starting off a great base as we develop the car for next year.”
DJR Team Penske manager, Ryan Story. “While the Mustang tugs at your emotions, the reality for us is that we have a job to do, and we have to get this right for the teams, the championship.”
Tickford Racing team principal Tim Edwards said the signs were positive.
“It’s very early stages, but the car is shaping up extremely well, and we’re keen for the next test,” he said. “The Mustang resonates with fans, and we know that circulating won’t be enough – Mustang has to be gunning for race wins, championships and of course Bathurst, and everyone involved is working tirelessly to make this happen. It’s a great team effort.”
Supercars.com says the car is expected to be trucked to Phillip Island for high-speed testing later this week.
It says straight-line high-speed testing to compare its aerodynamics with the ZB Commodore and Altima will happen after the final round of the 2018 series in Newcastle on November 23-25.
Although Ford officially withdrew from Supercars in 2014 after it decided to close its local manufacturing operations and discontinue the Falcon, it has given its blessing and financial support to the Mustang project, enlisting its American Ford Performance race engineers and designers.
Ford will be hoping McLaughlin can hold out Holden’s Shane Van Gisbergen in the season decider at Newcastle so the Mustang car carry the No. 1 through the 2019 season.
The Mustang is Australia’s top-selling sportscsar, having achieved 5193 sales this year to the end of October.
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