NEWCASTLE, Australia - A first-up win has given the Ford Mustang GT a perfect start to the Gen3 era in the Australian Supercars Championship.
It was the first victory in the motorsport career of the new seventh-generation Mustang, which will eventually become Ford’s competition spearhead in NASCAR and NHRA drag racing in the USA, as well as international GT3 and GT4 sportscar competition.
Cam Waters of Tickford Racing was victorious in the first of twin 250-kilometre races on the streets of Newcastle, with Chaz Mostert second on both days for the Walkinshaw Andretti United squad which is the newest recruit to the blue oval brand.
Mostert’s speed and consistency means he is the early leader in the 2023 Supercars championship ahead of David Reynolds, from Grove Racing, who took a pole position and a podium.
A total of 11 all-new Ford Mustangs from five different teams started the Gen3 era in Supercars, powered by a 5.4-litre version of the Ford Coyote engine, wrapped in bodywork that closely mirrors the legendary road-going car.
Global Director of Motorsport for Ford Performance, Mark Rushbrook, was in the Supercars pitlane to oversee the global debut of the new Ford Mustang and also joined the victory celebrations.
“It’s great for the sport to have the new cars and the energy around that. It’s going to be an exciting season,” said Rushbrook.
“Newcastle is a great city, and a great festival atmosphere here at the race. A lot of passionate fans, which we love about Supercars. Seeing the cars on track was a great statement for the sport.
“I’m so happy to be here. I love Supercars,” said Mr Rushbrook.
Stephen Grove, Grove Racing
- “To get David Reynolds onto the podium this weekend, after all the work the team has done, is an outstanding result. It was also pretty good to be the first Mustang to get a pole position under the new Gen3 rules.”
- “Matty Payne made huge progress over the weekend as he stepped up to the main game as a rookie. The cars were also more consistent across the whole fuel loads over the weekend.”
- “Looking ahead, the Australian Grand Prix meeting in Melbourne is on a completely different circuit, fast and open, over four days. There is a lot of work still to be done on our pitstops because they will be crucial at Albert Park.”
Tim Edwards, Tickford Racing
- “I’m certainly pleased with the pace of our cars. But I’m also frustrated with the reliability and durability of them.”
- “Cam Waters had good speed at the front, James Courtney too, and Declan Fraser was pretty speedy on Saturday, but the weekend was a disappointment.”
- “You never intend to crash, but that’s the nature of this category because it’s a contact sport. Looking at the damage on our cars, and the work involved, it appears we have some work to do to make the cars more robust.”
Bruce Stewart, Walkinshaw Andretti United
- “It’s great to be leaving Newcastle with Chaz Mostert leading the championship. You have to be pretty excited to finish the weekend with two second places and a fast car.”
- “This is a tough track and was always going to test all the teams with the new cars, and we know there is still more work to be done, but we’ve very excited heading to the Australian Grand Prix.”
- “Having the Gen3 Ford Mustang is providing the opportunity for WAU to push both cars and take our team back to the front.”
Tim Blanchard, Team CoolDrive
- “We struggled a little in the first part of the race on Saturday but Todd found some good speed in the closing stages and we carried that into Sunday.”
- “So, to have a Top 10 finish in the bag in the second race until some very ordinary driving by another driver - who is out of his depth - put Todd into the fence was very disappointing.”
- “We had no problems with the car but Melbourne will be a very different challenge to his weekend when we arrive for the Grand Prix meeting.”
Ben Croke, Dick Johnson Racing
- “It was a very tough weekend. But one weekend doesn’t define our team, or the work we put into our racing.”
- “We’ve got some time now to re-set and head to the Grand Prix, and to find the set-up window that works for our cars.”
The Supercars Championship will continue in Melbourne from March 30 to April 2, with the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park.
Chaz Mostert, 1st
Cam Waters, 3rd
David Reynolds, 4th
Matt Payne, 12th
Todd Hazelwood, 14th
Will Davison, 16th
Anton De Pasquale, 17th
Thomas Randle, 19th
James Courtney, 20th
Declan Fraser, 24th
Nick Percat, 25th