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Wednesday, May 22, 2024


A KEY element of Ford’s factory support program for 2023 has been explained, with trackside assistance to be provided.

From the time Walkinshaw Andretti United was announced as joining the Blue Oval next year, Ford declared it would have five factory Supercars teams in Gen3.

There has been little clarity on how that might actually look – until now.

In a media briefing today following on from the unveiling of the all-new S650 Mustang on Thursday, a three-pronged Australian motorsport division of Ford was announced.

It comprises Justin Capicchiano (motorsport and special vehicle engineering), Brendan McGinniskin (motorsport engineering lead – Australia) and Ben Nightingale (product communications manager).

They will aid the five Gen3 Ford squads: Dick Johnson Racing, Tickford Racing, WAU, Grove Racing and the Blanchard Racing Team.

V8 Sleuth understands more perks of the Ford factory support are still to be rolled out.

“We do run our motorsports program globally trying to share people, resources, learning across all the different racing series,” explained Ford Performance Motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook.

“When we re-entered, in terms of technical engineering support with Australian Supercars with the current Mustang we did all that work here, it’s obviously a big workload or time for us to be traveling from North America to support the series.

“I love being there, my team has loved being there; it’s just hard to support.

Pic: Mark Horsburgh

“As we were doing this work for the Gen3 car for the new Mustang, part of what we approved was getting some local support.

“Again, because of the importance of the series to us, the importance of the market and we were able to get approval for some head count there.

“Brendan McGinniskin who I actually first met was 2018 at Shanghai when we were racing the Ford GTs, it was very clear his passion for motorsports and experience in motorsports and planted a seed then that if we ever needed anybody in the region that he should be somebody we consider.

“This was the right opportunity so we were able to get approval for Brendan to be 100 percent dedicated to our motorsports activities and with more support there as well.

“Justin Capicchiano is the Supercar manager there that has access to other resources and can help manage Brendan locally and when extra support is needed can be brought in.

“It’s a great set-up for us to be able to leverage better what we do more globally and in the Australian market and a lot more efficient way of supporting all of the Supercars races, not just a handful through the year.”

The updated Gen3 Mustang will debut next month at the Repco Bathurst 1000.

Its first competitive hitout is due to come at the 2023 Newcastle 500 across March 10-12.

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