Tuesday, Apr 17 01:11pm
AUTHOR: Simon Chapman

The Mustang is back! Ford confirm grand new Supercars Championship plan

Ford Australia have announced that they will return to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship through factory-supported challenges with Tickford Racing and Penske Racing. The Mustang will join the fold from 2019 onwards.


The confirmation comes after yesterday's heavy speculation, led by Australian publication Auto Action, pointed to an announcement expected to be made today.


The decision to re-align with the series comes as Ford Australia adds the performance ute Ranger Raptor model to their range, alongside existing sports cars like the new Ford Mustang and the Focus RS. Ford also confirmed that the new Fiesta ST would be coming to Australia and New Zealand. 


These models will come under the banner 'Ford Performance', similar to how the manufacturer operates in other overseas markets like the United States.


It is the first time that a two-door car has competed in the Supercars or Australian Touring Car Championship since the series had a second tier for detuned BMW M3s and Ford Sierras in the early years of the V8 formula's infancy. 


Prior to that, Ford last competed in the ATCC with a Mustang via a challenge from Dick Johnson in 1985 and 1986. Despite some strong performances, Johnson shifted to the turbocharged Sierra RS500 in 1987. 


The manufacturer are the second to react to the category's new Gen II regulations, following on from Holden's new ZB Commodore. The five-door liftback model was scheduled to shift over to a six-cylinder twin-turbo powertrain for next season, only for the manufacturer to recently shelve the engine project.


Photo: Ford Performance