Work begins on first Ford Mustang Supercars
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Work has begun on the first Mustang Supercar, with all Ford teams expected to field the two-door muscle coupe in the Virgin Australia Supercar Championship next year.
The arrival of the Mustang also signals the return of Ford Australia’s factory support after the brand pulled its backing from the series in 2015.
DJR Team Penske is the first to tackle the challenge of fitting the iconic Mustang body shell over the category’s control chassis.
Chassis DJRTP 02, which was previously used for tyre and aerodynamic testing with the current Ford Falcon FG, will become the first Mustang supercar.
The chassis is the team’s second spare for Kiwi drivers Scott McLaughlin and Fabin Coulthard and was last used in competition back in 2016. It is intended to remain as a back-up chassis for the team next year.
Supercar teams DJRTP and Tickford Racing will work with Ford Performance in the United States to develop the new bodykit, which must fit over the existing Gen2 introduced this season as an evolution of 2013’s “Car Of The Future”.
The Gen2 platform opened the category up to models beyond four-door, front-engine sedans, with the Ford Mustang the first new car to take advantage of that.
Speaking with Supercars.com, DJRTP managing director Ryan Story confirmed that work on the Mustang was under way.
“We’ve begun stripping that car in the last week. The plan is that car will do the homologation testing and then become a spare for next season,” said Story.
“We’ll build one brand new car and convert one of the two current race cars for use in 2018.
“There’s no point building brand new cars for the sake of it. That’s the way we’ve been operating and we don’t see a reason to do anything differently.”
Tickford Racing also confirmed that work on its first Mustang is about to start, with the four-car team planning to field two brand new chassis and two re-skinned cars at the start of the 2019 season.
“We’ve got one new shell sitting there that has already been assembled, excluding the elements that intersect with the external surfaces, and there’s another under way on the jig,” said team principal Tim Edwards.
“We had a build plan for shells anyway, and once we knew Mustang was happening, it was a case of ‘we’ll get it to that point’.”
Neither team will say if the Mustang will be tested on track ahead of a scheduled homologation test in December