Mustang's test success at Ipswich track
MOTORSPORT: Ford's 2019 Supercars Championship challenger has completed its first test at Queensland Raceway.
The Mustang Supercars prototype, built with support from Ford Performance, Ford Australia and the Ford Asia-Pacific Design Studio, ran faultlessly today throughout a comprehensive testing program at the Willowbank circuit.
Driven by DJR Team Penske drivers Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard, the car was run through a battery of tests to prepare it for Supercars' stringent VCAT homologation testing program next month.
The new-for-2019 Mustang racer will be the first coupe to enter Supercars under the current regulations, and the first two-door involved in Australian Touring Car racing for more than two decades.
DJR Team Penske Team Principal Ryan Story, who was present at the test, said the day went to plan.
"To see Mustang on track for the first time is a great milestone, as we've been working on this project in earnest since November last year,'' Story said.
"It is a testament to every-one involved.
"It's an encouraging start.
"The car looks fantastic, and both drivers reported that the car has plenty of promise. We couldn't be more pleased with how things progressed today."
Ford Performance Aerodynamics Lead Sriram Pakkam, who has joined the testing team from the United States, said it was great to see the hard work done in CFD and CAD come to life on the racetrack.
"It's always a special moment when a project such as this one finally comes to fruition and rolls out onto the racetrack for the first time," Pakkam said.
"This is a significant car for Ford, and this is demonstrated in the resources we've put into the project to ensure that we build the best race car possible, within Supercars' regulations. First signs are positive, and we will continue the testing program over the next few weeks."
Tickford Racing team manager 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," Edwards 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."
DJR Team Penske driver and Supercars Championship leader Scott McLaughlin spent several hours lapping Queensland Raceway in the Mustang Supercar, reporting back that the car felt strong around the team's home test circuit.
"First of all, the car looks awesome. It's going to be so good to see it in Shell V-Power colours next year," McLaughlin said.
"It's a great start. It did everything we could expect of a brand-new race car, and the balance feels pretty close to our current package.
"Having now driven it, I'm massively excited for the 2019 season to begin."
Fabian Coulthard also spent plenty of time in the car today, declaring the car to be one of the most exciting he's driven to date.
"It doesn't get much more iconic than a Ford Mustang, so be a part of the team that's bringing this car back into Supercars and Australian touring car racing is pretty special," Coulthard said.
Testing of the Mustang supercar will continue over coming weeks.
Supercars official homologation testing begins early next month.