Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
IT&Software | By Alfonso Woods

Ford's Taking The Mustang Racing Down Under In Australia's Supercars Series

Ford's Taking The Mustang Racing Down Under In Australia's Supercars Series

It now runs the Fusion in the top-tier Cup series and it is the oldest make on the grid after Chevrolet introduced its new Camaro for 2018, a year after Toyota brought an updated Camry. "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 vehicle should be on our race tracks".

The Mustang Supercars program will be overseen by the company's global performance operation, Ford Performance, which has also been launched in Australia and New Zealand as an official brand. Ford sold 125,809 Mustangs in more than 80 countries past year.

Ford Australia boss Graeme Whickman wouldn't be drawn on whether the arrangements with Penske and Tickford constituted a "factory effort", saying that it is a "partnership" but MOTOR understands Ford Performance is heavily involved with the development of the Mustang racer.

Talks to bring Ford back into the Supercars fold started late past year. Ford also says it's seen a 10 percent increase in the number of women shelling out for the sports auto over the past five years.

The Gen2 rules - where two-door cars are eligible for Supercars - saw Holden homologate its hatchback Commodore ZB for the 2018 season.

Racing legend and co-owner of DJR Team Penske, Dick Johnson, joked that he "wouldn't be caught" in any other vehicle, after speculation Ford would sign on. The manufacturer will work with DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing, combining the technical knowledge and expertise of Ford Performance with the experience and skill set of the teams. Change cars first (from Falcon to Mustang), then look at changing power plants in the future.

Since global exports began in 2015, through December 2017, Ford has sold 418 000 Mustangs around the world.

With the 2018 standing now dominated by the ZB Commodore, Roger Penske, co-owner of DJR Team Penske believes their re-engineered Mustang will see Ford rise to dominance once more.

"Demand for Mustang continues to be very strong, especially overseas, where until recently people couldn't get their hands on one", says Erich Merkle, a Ford sales analyst.

"The fact that we will be able to build and race a Mustang in the 2019 Supercars Championship is music to my ears".

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