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Explained: Ford’s trackside Supercars factory support

THE engineer at the heart of Ford’s factory support for its Gen3 Supercars teams has offered an insight into the way of the future.

Ford has come back into the Supercars sector in a big way, with its establishment of a three-person Australian motorsport division the latest proof of that.

Within that structure, Brendan McGinniskin, the company’s motorsport engineering lead in Australia, will be the crucial conduit between Ford Performance and Supercars teams.

“So that means getting Supercars teams access to Ford Performance resources that we use to develop road cars and race cars in North America,” explained McGinniskin.

“So pretty much enabling those teams to try to shorten their learning curve on any race car like this.

“Everything we can give them access to, to I guess be quicker sooner, that’s the whole goal for my role.

Elaborating on how trackside support might look, he added: “(The teams) do a lot of back-at-base work which will be the majority of what I am involved in from a Ford resource perspective.

“But then once we’re at the circuit, anything that crops up that we can help with leveraging our resources is what I’ll work on.”

Through the process, there will be a concerted effort to protect each team’s intellectual property, with information flowing down rather than sideways from squad to squad.

“We have had discussions with the current Ford teams at the moment on how that will work. We’ll have an overarching view,” said McGinniskin, who will finish up in his part-time Super2 role at MW Motorsport at season’s end.

“There’s definitely not going to be IP sharing between the teams – it’s not my goal to come in and take, say, Tickford’s IP and give it DJR and vice versa.

The S650 Mustang prototype at Bathurst. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

“That’s not what we’re about, we’re just literally about leveraging the resources as the teams see fit.

“If they have got projects they want us to work on but they don’t have the manpower to staff or the facilities that we would have, it’s my job to give them access to that.”

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The exception will be in the first instance of dispersing knowledge from homologation team Dick Johnson Racing.

“The new front (control) suspension, despite that being a Triple Eight part, Perry (Kapper, DJR chief engineer) has had a hand in how that’s laid out and has a good understanding of what it is and what it does,” said McGinniskin.

“I’m comfortable with the handle that those guys have on it, and obviously them as the homologation team, we’re going to leverage those guys to then feed how it works and what it does back to the rest of the Ford teams, at least initially.

“Once they start tuning them individually, that’s when it will be up to the teams to do what they need to do to make the cars quicker.”

Joining DJR in flying the Ford flag next year will be Tickford Racing, Walkinshaw Andretti United, Grove Racing and the Blanchard Racing Team.

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