As Ford Australia ceased all local production late in 2016, snuffing out that market’s homegrown Ford Falcon sedan, rumors that the Mustang would replace it in the country’s beloved Supercars Championship touring car racing series promptly spread. Now, roughly a year and a half after Ford Australia’s Broadmeadows Assembly plant shuttered for good, Ford Performance has officially announced that the iconic Ford Mustang pony car will indeed compete in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship from 2019.
The Mustang, which first went on sale in Australia in 2015, will make its Supercars debut in March, 2019, at the Adelaide 500. The campaign will be run cooperatively by Ford Australia, Ford Performance, DJR Team Penske, and Australia’s Tickford Racing.
“Having Ford back on the Supercars grid and with its iconic Mustang is going to be brilliant for the whole sport,” says Tickford Racing Team Owner and Supercars board member Rod Nash. “Mustang is Ford’s halo brand and with its 54th birthday it keeps recording more milestones, but I think having a Mustang Supercar is going to be a very significant one for the brand in this country.
“We welcome the Mustang to Supercars, and it’s fantastic that Ford, and its Ford Performance division, see the Supercars Championship as a great competitive environment and also a strong marketing platform to be involved in. This is a landmark day for Australian motorsport and the teams involved.”
Bringing the Ford Mustang into the Supercars Championship will involve okaying two-door coupes for competition for the first time since the touring car racing series was born in 1997. The racing series follows FIA regulations and enjoys a massive domestic audience, with somewhere around a quarter of a million people turning out for the event each year for more than a decade.