With the Ford Falcon road car now out of production, Supercars teams are working to convert their existing chassis to the Mustang shape, which has been on sale in Australia since 2015. DJR Team Penske is the first to start the conversion of an existing Falcon FG X.
Chassis DJRTP 02, which was used for Supercars’s tire and aerodynamic testing last year, will become the first Mustang Supercar. Work to convert it has started at DJR Team Penske’s base in Stapylton, Queensland. It is currently the team’s second spare and was last raced by Fabian Coulthard in 2016.
All cars in Supercars have to use a control chassis that was introduced in 2013. They can therefore be converted to look like another model by just changing the outer and inner paneling and associated bracketry.
“We’ve begun stripping that car in the last week,” said DJRTP managing director Ryan Story. “The plan is that car will do the homologation testing and then become a spare for next season. We’ll build one brand-new car and convert one of the two current race cars for use in 2018. There’s no point building brand-new cars for the sake of it. That’s the way we’ve been operating and we don’t see a reason to do anything differently.”
Tickford Racing, too, is planning the switchover. It has two chassis being built that will debut as Mustangs, and two of its current Falcons are set to be converted.
“Our plan at the moment is to be re-skinning two cars and building two new cars,” team principal Tim Edwards told Supercars.com. “We’ve got one new shell sitting there that has already been assembled, excluding the elements that intersect with the external surfaces, and there’s another underway on the jig.”
“We had a build plan for shells anyway, and once we knew Mustang was real and happening, it was a case of ‘we’ll get it to that point’. We identified what that point was, took it off the jig and started building another one to that point as well.”
DJRTP is working in conjunction with Ford Performance in the USA on the body, which will debut at the start of 2019. Tickford and DJRTP had originally hoped to receive sign-off on the Mustang project from Ford in time for 2018, but this did not materialize.
DJRTP has not put a firm date on when the first Mustang will have its maiden track run, confirming only that it will be before December’s homologation testing. Tickford’s first car won’t hit the track until next year, after the summer testing ban lifts.
23Red Racing and Matt Stone Racing have also declared plans to start 2019 with their current Falcons converted to the Mustang bodywork.