From the formative years of Australian touring cars to today, Ford has been a constant in the Australian Touring Car Championship (ATCC)/Supercars and Bathurst 500/1000. Today, it races on into the Gen3 era of Supercars, outlasting its great rival, Holden.
With the Gen3 era underway, SupercarXtra Magazine issue #128 is a celebration of all things Ford in Australian touring cars, featuring the best Blue Oval content from V8X Magazine/SupercarXtra Magazine.
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From the Zephyr on the grid for the first Australian Touring Car Championship race in 1960 to the 11 Mustangs on the Supercars grid in 2023, Ford has amassed quite the history in Australian touring cars. And after a long and storied rivalry, it is Ford that remains standing after the retirement of Holden.
Ford has enjoyed decades of success with the Cortina, Mustang, Falcon and Sierra, despite various levels of support from the head office. While factory backing has come and gone, the current Supercars effort is backed by Ford with the new Gen3 Mustang Supercar amongst its stable of international motorsport programs.
Ironically, while Holden had a better track record of backing its Australian touring car efforts, whether it was in an official or unofficial capacity while Ford’s involvement came and went, it is Ford that races on after the Holden name is gone.
This means the Gen3 Mustang will carry the Blue Oval legacy into the next era of Supercars beyond Holden’s involvement in the category.
Significantly, long-time Holden team Walkinshaw Andretti United (previously the Holden Racing Team) switches to Ford in 2023, tempted into the move by the prospect of manufacturer support. The team joins Dick Johnson Racing, Tickford Racing, Grove Racing and the Blanchard Racing Team in fielding Mustangs in 2023, helping balance out the split between Mustangs and Chevrolet Camaros on the grid.
Walkinshaw Andretti United is the third team to have switched to the Blue Oval from Holden in recent years, following in the footsteps of Grove Racing and the Blanchard Racing Team, highlighting the importance of some level of manufacturer support for teams.
As a result, the Gen3 Mustang will build on Ford’s track record after Holden’s presence. And what a track record it is, with the likes of Ian Geoghegan, Allan Moffat, Dick Johnson, Glenn Seton, Marcos Ambrose and Scott McLaughlin winning Bathurst 500s/1000s and championships for the Blue Oval, driving for iconic teams such as Allan Moffat Racing, Dick Johnson Racing, Glenn Seton Racing, Stone Brothers Racing and Tickford Racing.