Ford Performance Racing and DJR Team Penske will run the new model FG X Falcon in the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship, despite a lack of confirmed backing from the manufacturer.
FPR has announced today that it has given the FG X V8 Supercar program the green light, with the news coinciding with a demonstration of the new road car at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.
Speedcafe.com understands that the homologation of the FG X will take place in league with DJR Penske, which is keen to improve the performance of the Falcon package ahead of its entry into the championship.
The new homologation will allow a number of issues, including the FG’s much maligned rear aero and key panel weights, to be addressed.
“Public reaction to the FG X Falcon has been incredibly strong and it’s obvious just how much passion there is for the brand so it has been a pleasure to develop the final Falcon V8 Supercar,” said FPR team principal Tim Edwards.
“The FG has been a great car and a highly-successful one but it is time to update to the new model and we are working towards getting the FG X homologated and beginning testing.”
Penske, which enjoys strong links to Ford in the United States, is resigned to entering next season without financial backing from Ford Australia, but has expressed hope of growing the relationship for 2016.
FPR and V8 Supercars, however, continue to lobby Ford Australia, whose president Bob Graziano is set to attend the weekend’s Bathurst event.
While reports are circulating that Ford will withdraw all support from the category next season, Speedcafe.com expects that, at minimum, FPR will continue with a parts and panel program similar to that currently enjoyed by DJR.
Ford sponsorship manager Andrew Clifford is at Mount Panorama today overseeing the FG X road car demonstration and declined to comment on its future racing plans when approached by Speedcafe.com.
“For us this week is all about three things; one, the teams are on track and our performance at the weekend; two, we are homologating the car for 2015 and three, we are here to support the team on the weekend,” he said.
“We have got Dick (Johnson) taking the competition winners around in the FG X and it will be the same thing tomorrow, we will have some winners who will go out with Frosty (Mark Winterbottom) tomorrow morning.
“The key thing for us is to launch the new Falcon this weekend.”
The announcement of the FG X comes amid a strong start to the Bathurst weekend for FPR, which has topped four of the five practice sessions ahead of qualifying.