DJR Team Penske runs new-look racer in Queensland …
STORY: AARON NOONAN/WILL DALE
THE first Supercars-specification Ford Mustang has completed a trouble-free maiden test day today at Queensland Raceway by the Shell V-Power Racing Team.
The Mustang appeared in a blue camouflage livery with the #17 and Ford Performance branding on the windscreen banner, with the logos of development teams DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing on its guards.
The team is running the car today for the first of three permitted homologation test days, days that permit a single car to be on track.
Scott McLaughlin was given the honour of doing the car’s first laps today and spent several hours behind the wheel, sharing the car with teammate Fabian Coulthard, with further on-track running at Phillip Island expected later this week.
“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.”
DJR Team Penske is leading the development of the Mustang Supercars project in association with Ford Performance in Detroit and the Melbourne-based Tickford Racing.
“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. It is a testament to everyone involved,” DJR Team Penske team principal Ryan Story said.
“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.”
Tickford Racing’s chief engineer Nathaniel Osborne is on-site at Queensland Raceway today for the first roll-out of the Mustang.
Also on hand for the occasion was Ford Performance aerodynamics lead Sriram Pakkam, who has joined the testing team from the United States.
“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.”
The Mustang development car started its life as a Falcon FG X race car in 2016 that was raced by Fabian Coulthard for DJR Team Penske but has been converted to a Mustang Supercar over the last few months at the team’s Queensland base.