All the attention in Australia may be on this weekend’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 event, but fans at the Mount Panorama circuit will also get to see a unique Ford battle on track.
The special Triple Challenge will pit a GT4-specification Mustang against a Ford GT endurance racer and a FG X Falcon V8 Supercar.
This year’s Bathurst 1000 will be the final edition of the ‘Great Race’ to see the famous Ford Falcon taking part. The end of Falcon sales and production mean the car will no longer be used in the Supercar championship, to be replaced in 2019 by the Mustang.
So, the sight of a Mustang GT4 racer on track will be a fitting preview of what Ford Performance fans can expect to see next year.
Powered by a 5.2-litre ‘Coyote’ V8 engine, the Mustang GT4 produces 450hp and features a six-speed sequential gearbox. This weekend will mark the first time the turn-key racer, based on the Shelby GT350R-C, will have been seen in Australia.
Joining the Mustang GT4 on track will be the IMSA Ford GT endurance racer, driven by Sydney-born Ryan Briscoe. With three wins in the North American IMSA series this year, Briscoe and the Ford GT are already making a formidable pairing.
Derived from the Ford GT road car, the IMSA-spec machine is closer to a bespoke prototype race car, with a carbon fibre chassis and aerodynamic design. It could well be a contender for setting the fastest ever lap around Mount Panorama.
Finally, as a tribute to the Falcon, Alex Davison will drive the 23Red FG X Supercar as part of the triple threat competition.
Ford fans will also be able to reminisce about previous Falcon victories at Bathurst this weekend. Ford Performance has assembled a collection of iconic models from the Falcon’s history, including the road-going version of the 1967 XR GT model that won at Bathurst.
Although the end of the Falcon may bring a tear to the eye of many fast Ford fans, you can be sure it will go out with plenty of burned rubber and V8 noise this weekend.
However, the ultimate send-off would be victory in Sunday’s epic Bathurst 1000 race.