- Le Mans-winning Ford GT to be showcased at 2018 Bathurst enduro with #67 driven by Sydney-born Ryan Briscoe as pinnacle of Ford’s global competition models with the goal of furthering innovation, research and development of road-going Ford models
- Turn-key Ford Performance Mustang GT4 race car to make its Australian debut, featuring a track-ready 450hp 5.2-litre V8 engine and Holinger 6-speed sequential paddleshift transmission
- Alex Davison set to showcase 23Red Racing FG X Falcon in Ford Performance on-track battle between Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Tony D’Alberto in Ford Mustang GT4 and #67 IMSA Ford GT of Ryan Briscoe
- Falcon heritage celebrated with Ford Australia’s own road-going XR Falcon GT and 1968 London-to-Sydney Marathon podium finishing XT Falcon GT joining a collection of famous Falcon race cars at The Great Race
“We’re proud to bring Ford Performance to Supercars and proud of our heritage in the sport,” said Ford Australia and New Zealand President and CEO, Kay Hart. “The teams that design, build, work on and race Ford products are some of our greatest assets when it comes to developing new technologies that ultimately improve the performance of our road-going vehicles.”
The Le Mans 24-hour winning IMSA Ford GT will be represented at Bathurst 2018 by Chip Gnassi Racing’s Ryan Briscoe, a three-time winner in the North American IMSA Series so far this year, including victory with co-driver Richard Westbrook at the prestigious Rolex Daytona 24-hour. The #67 Ford GT looks set to be the fastest Ford to ever lap the mountain, with its 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 engine, advanced light-weight carbonfibre construction and teardrop body shape that has been designed for maximum aerodynamic efficiency.
The famous Ford GT won’t have the daunting 6.213km Mount Panorama layout to itself, with the first Ford Mustang GT4 to roll out of a pit-lane in Australia set to lay its own tracks around Bathurst. The Mustang GT4, a development of the Shelby GT350R-C, is powered by a 5.2-litre Coyote V8, a direct derivative of the engine under the bonnet of the road-going Ford Mustang in Australian dealerships.
“Getting an opportunity to pilot this car around Mount Panorama is massively exciting,” said Tony D’Alberto, from Shell V-Power Racing Team, who will be in charge of the Mustang GT4. “We’re making the change to Mustang in Supercars for 2019, so to be getting a run in that iconic shape around Bathurst a year early is a privilege. Allan Moffatt’s Trans-Am Mustang was a monster, and the GT4 is the modern version of that, so I can’t wait to feel and hear its thumping V8 bellowing up and down the Mountain.”
With 14 of Ford’s 19 wins at Mount Panorama, there’s no more fitting machine to benchmark around the circuit than a Falcon Supercar. At the wheel of the 23Red Ford Falcon FG X will be Alex Davison, who will pilot the #230 Falcon with two-time Bathurst winner and brother, Will Davison, in this year’s 1000km enduro.
“It’s a great opportunity for our last Bathurst with the FG X Falcon to put it up against some of the fastest Fords in the world,” said Davison. “I feel really lucky – it’s an absolute privilege to be part of.”
DJR Team Penske, Ford Tickford Racing and 23Red Racing will race the Falcon for the last time at Bathurst as they fight for a final victory for one of the most successful nameplates of any make to race at Bathurst.
“Falcon’s legacy at Bathurst is remarkable, and we know fans around the country, regardless of their allegiance, acknowledge this,” said Supercars CEO, Sean Seamer. “From the sheer emotion of the 2006 race, which became the first of the three Falcon wins in a row, to Dick Johnson’s Tru-Blu XD and the mighty XY Phase III GT-HO, the Falcon has left an indelible mark in the history of this Great Race.”
In tribute, a road-going version of the ’67 Bathurst-winning Ford XR GT from Ford Australia’s Heritage Collection will be part of a gathering of famous Falcons celebrating the nameplate’s success at both Bathurst and Australian touring car racing over five decades. In stark-contrast to the simple black paintwork of Fred Gibson and Harry Firth’s winner, all 500 road-going iterations of the first ‘Bathurst’ Falcon were finished in ‘GT Gold’.
Pride of place in the display will be the 1968 London-to-Sydney Marathon XT Falcon GT, registration ‘KAG-002’, one of three Falcons that claimed the Teams Trophy in the legendary global race. Driven by Ian Vaughan, Harry Firth and Jack Ellis, KAG-002 itself finished third outright in the Marathon. Shipped from Ford to this year’s Great Race, the XT GT will celebrate fifty years since that famous event, which saw Falcon etch its name in global motor racing history in one of the most arduous, challenging sporting contests.
The Supercheap Auto 1000 will be held October 4-7th, 2018, at Mount Panorama, Bathurst.