FG Falcon signs off as Super Black upgrades

Monday 16th March, 2015 - 3:17pm

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Heimgartner raced with fellow Kiwis Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin after jumping the start in Race 4

Heimgartner raced with fellow Kiwis Fabian Coulthard and Scott McLaughlin after jumping the start in Race 4

After more than six years of service, the Ford Falcon FG’s stint in V8 Supercars’ top tier has come to an end.

The last remaining FG in the field, the Prodrive-run Super Black Racing entry for Andre Heimgartner, will be in FG X specification for the next round of the championship at Symmons Plains.

Heimgartner had been the last FG runner after the team rolled out an upgraded car for David Reynolds at the weekend’s Australian Grand Prix meeting.

Poignantly, Prodrive’s leading FG Xs of Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert took a sweep of four one-two finishes across the FG’s final race weekend.

Rookie Heimgartner scored a weekend best finish of 18th in the finale, despite a 10 second post-race penalty for jumping the chaotic rolling start.

The Kiwi had vaulted from 18th on the grid to be as high as fourth on the run to Turn 1 after jumping early and taking to the grass.

The FG scored two championships (Jamie Whincup, 2009 and James Courtney, 2010) and two Bathurst 1000 victories (Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards, 2013 and Chaz Mostert/Paul Morris, 2014) from its tenure as Ford’s V8 Supercar.

The model recorded a total of 55 championship race wins; sitting fourth on the all-time Australian Touring Car Championship/V8SC ladder behind the VE (103), VT (63) and VF (58) Holden Commodores.

The FG is meanwhile unique in competing across two distinct V8 Supercars eras, transitioning to the Car of the Future platform in 2013.

Although winning both its Bathurst with Prodrive in COTF spec, the second version of the car has been much maligned following the trimming of its rear wing when V8 Supercars attempted to match it to the new generation cars.

“It’s more than six years that we’ve been running the FG and obviously everyone always likes something new,” Prodrive principal Tim Edwards reflected after Sunday’s final race.

“Just seeing the FG X run for the first time at the end of last year put a spring in everyone’s step.

“The FG got us a couple of Bathurst wins and if you look at 2012, we won the lion’s share of the races with Triple Eight.

“While the last two years of the FG haven’t been as successful, everyone should remember that the pre-Car of the Future was a successful race car as well.”

With all four of Prodrive’s entries now committed to FG X bodywork, the only way for the FG to again be seen in a V8 Supercars Championship race will be via a wildcard entry.