New Zealand’s first Mustang-inspired MARC II V8 race car is set to descend on the nation’s motorsport scene next year.
After capturing the attention of the country with its high-horsepower Ford Mustang GT-X, Collins Motorsport has purchased one of the last MARC II V8 Mustang chassis for its latest adventure.
The former Mustang is now up for sale, and the MARC machine will replace it as the team’s primary race car.
The car, which is currently being shipped to New Zealand from Australia, is some 300hp down on the old Mustang. However, it weighs over 400kg less with its full carbon fibre frame, and it looks gorgeous. The 5.2-litre Coyote V8 is also sure to pack a punch to the eardrums when it guns down a straight.
But team owner Paul Collins revealed that purchasing the MARC was not his initial intention.
“At first we were looking at buying a Porsche GT3 or some GT style race car,” Collins told Velocity News.
“We want to have more of a focus on the South Island and national endurance racing, so we thought a GT3 car would be the best sort of car to have.
“But after talking with our sponsors, we learnt that they wanted to see a Mustang V8, not another GT3.
“We had been looking at the MARC for a couple of years now and then this one became available. We only had a certain amount of time to buy it because there was someone else interested, so we decided to roll with it.”
The particular MARC II V8 Collins Motorsport will run, which was nicknamed Farhham in Australia, competed in the Bathurst 12 Hour and the Victorian Sports Sedan in its previous life.
Now en route to its new home across the Tasman, the car is set to race in next year’s South Island Endurance Series. Depending on how early it arrives in the country, the car could also have some hit-outs in the BNT V8 Open class next summer.
“It is a bit of unknown as to where it will race,” Collins said.
“We think it should run in what is known as GT B in the South Island Endurance series and against the SuperTourers. These cars are built by Pace Innovations, the same guys who built the SuperTourers.
“Really, there aren’t many SuperTourers now that are still in the original spec. Most now have 7-litre V8s, ABS and all sorts of driver aids. So we think we should race against those guys.”
While the team are eager to hit the track as soon as possible, Collins said the priority would be understanding the ins and outs of the car. To get on top of this it will be put through a rigorous testing schedule.
“It will be a steep learning curve, and we will have to get on top of the set-up quickly. We will be testing it a lot once we get it.
“But we are excited to see what this car is in store.
“The reason we purchased the MARC and are selling the Mustang is as a race team you always have to up your game a little bit.
“It is all about creating a fan base, and we did that with the Mustang. It is probably one of the most winningest cars in the country. It either won or placed in almost every race and the only times that it didn’t was when it wouldn’t start.
“But the MARC is seriously cool and we can’t wait to see what it can do.”