Ford’s run to the manufacturers’ crown with the new Mustang is an extraordinary achievement, according to the homologation team managing director Ryan Story.
The blue oval claimed the manufacturers’ crown courtesy of Scott McLaughlin’s victory in Race 20 at Century Batteries Ipswich SuperSprint, with the following celebrations triggering fines totalling $13000.
The manufacturers’ title is based on race wins rather than points, with Holden now unable to surpass Ford’s total in the remaining races.
“It is an extraordinary achievement and one that a lot of people not just here in Australia but in the United States with Ford Performance can take a great deal of pride in,” said Story, boss of the Shell V-Power Racing team.
The achievement is the fruit of three years of work in planning and development both in Australia with Shell V-Power Racing and Tickford Racing, and in the US, through Ford Performance, to bring the Mustang to the Supercars grid this year.
Its arrival has not come without controversy, sparking a parity debate resulting in Supercars making centre of gravity and aerodynamic adjustments on the car.
Despite the challenges it has faced, the Mustang’s success has continued with Story’s squad taking 16 of the 17 wins for the car this season.
Reflecting on the milestone, Story paid tribute to all the people involved in the Mustang project.
“Seeing the Mustang on track was no easy feat it, has been a road that we have been traversing for quite a long time now,” Story added.
“To see it on track, to get through the homologation process and go through all the other challenges this year and see those wins is a true testament to the people involved, but more than that it is a true testament to our drivers and our team.
“I’m grateful for everyone that works for Shell V-Power Racing Team; from our drivers to our mechanics through to our engineers and commercial staff, they have all done a phenomenal job.
“Days like today, where we not only get to stand on the middle step of the podium, but reach milestones such as the manufacturers’ championship, is due to the people behind the scenes.”
McLaughlin labelled the title a ‘proud moment’ having contributed the lion’s share of the victories to clinch the crown.
“I think it’s a really proud moment, unfortunately Mark Rushbrook (boss) from Ford Performance wasn’t here, but to win the title so early is very cool,” said McLaughlin.
“Obviously it’s shown that we have been fast and won it.
“I’m proud to do it for our team and I feel like we’ve added to a lot of those wins this year and it was nice to bring it up with our car.”
Team-mate Fabian Coulthard, who has scored two wins with the Mustang this year, added: “I’ve contributed race wins for Mustang. Not as many as Scott, but you can’t take that away from us. I think it’s awesome, our team’s done a fantastic job with developing this car and it’s been fast.”
While Shell V-Power Racing has led the way for the Mustang, Tickford has contributed to the title with a victory for Chaz Mostert at Albert Park.
Having spent his entire Supercars career with the brand, the 2014 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 winner is glad to have played a small role in the success.
“Look, it’s fantastic, good to see a new model come to the series this year and be quite fast out the gate,” said Mostert.
“Obviously credit to all the Shell boys, those are the guys that have wrapped that up for Ford Performance here and the States.
“It’s just awesome to be a part of that brand, I’ve been a part of that brand for a long time; ’14 Bathurst was pretty special for Ford and ’13 (maiden race win) and all that side of stuff. It’s been a cool ride and, hopefully more to come.”