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Monday, May 27, 2024


FORD Performance Motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook is unconcerned about going head-to-head with a bigger capacity General Motors engine in the Gen3 era of Supercars.

From next year, the Repco Supercars Championship will move away from its traditional 5.0-litre engine formula.

The all-new Ford Mustang will house a 5.4-litre Coyote, while a 5.7-litre engine will power the rival Chevrolet Camaro.

Supercars landed on those capacities as part of its bid to equalise power and economy figures between the pushrod Chev and its more sophisticated, double overhead cam Ford rival.

An extensive development process has led to both engines recently heading to the United States for durability testing, and there is now less than six months until the planned Newcastle season-opener next March.

Never before in the V8 Supercars era have different capacity engines competed against one another, but Rushbrook is comfortable with how the situation is shaping up.

“I believe we’ve laid all the correct foundations with the series in terms of going through that process,” he said of engine parity being achieved.

“We still have to go through it, but at this point I think we and the series have the right plan, we just need to get through it and see where we are when it’s done.”

Rushbrook spoke with excitement about the road relevance that will be associated with the new Mustang Supercars.

The new-look Gen3 Ford Mustang Supercar. Pic: Supplied

“Specifically in the engine, for the relevance, it is the fact that we have a Coyote in a Mustang on the road and we’re able to use the heads, the block from the Coyote engine in the race engine, and we have got those direct components and system and architecture that we’re able to share,” he said.

“So for us, compared to some of our other series, this gives us a lot more relevance and direct ties between road car and race car.

He added: “A lot of the rotating components are updated to bespoke race pieces, but the fundamentals of the engine and its architecture are shared directly from production.”

All Gen3 Ford motors will be supplied to teams by Herrod Performance Engines, which currently services Dick Johnson Racing and the Blanchard Racing Team.

The single-supplier model is set to be introduced on both sides of the manufacturer divide, with KRE the anointed Chevrolet counterpart.

The updated Ford Mustang prototype is due to appear in S650 specification for the first time at the Repco Bathurst 1000 across October 6-9.

It is then set to undergo straightline aerodynamic parity testing against the Camaro in November, following preliminary running with the S550 earlier this year.

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