Ford Performance Racing could soon be swapping its Falcons for Mustangs should a new sponsorship deal be signed with Ford, co-owner Rod Nash has revealed.
Negotiations for a sponsorship extension with Ford are underway and the Mustang model has emerged as a possible contender for Ford Performance racing (FPR) should Ford re-commit to its factory V8 Supercars racing team.
The move to race the Mustang has been discussed with Ford and comes in the wake of the news that V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton is reviewing the current series technical regulations with the category potentially open to two-door coupes in the coming years.
“The opportunity is there for a V8 Supercar to be a two-door,” FPR co-owner Rod Nash told v8supercars.com.au. “If we want to do a two-door vehicle going forward then that will be part of it.
“It’s all part of manufacturers going forward and being able to accommodate what they want to do.”
Ford have only committed to FPR for the current season after revealing that local production would cease and the Falcon would be decommissioned sometime before the end of 2016.
The final Falcon is likely to be released later this year and should replace the FG II if Ford commit to the series for 2015 and beyond.
The Mustang is therefore looking like a long term solution as it arrives down under in the second half of 2015.
With Holden also ceasing local manufacturing, Warburton has said regulations may allow for the entry of two-door models, and could also see the introduction of Mustang rivals such as the Chevrolet Camaro and Dodge Challenger to the series.
Nash believes it is important to entertain these options in order for the category to remain in line with current market trends.
“If Ford, through their strategies, have … a Mustang two-door and felt that was good for a driving brand awareness program well then we need to be there on the front foot to be able to supply that.”
FPR would still need to put the Mustang through an official homologation process before anything can be confirmed.
“Nothing is granted until you put it up through the V8 Supercars Commission,” he explained. “Any subject has to go up so it’s not mandated that you just go out and do it.”
Ford are also yet to confirm that the Mustang will race in the category.
“That gets loosely discussed at the moment, but that is just in the pecking order,” Nash said. “We are looking at it ourselves regardless, but of course we are going to be guided by any deal we do. It’s all part of the DNA of the marketing going forward, so that’s yet to be determined.”
Nash also could not reveal where talks were at with regard to Ford’s involvement in the series past the 2014 season.
“We can’t put any spin on it either way because we know where we are at but it would be unfair to make any comment,” he said.
“Equally with Ford, they don’t make any comment from their side and there has been an understanding of parameters that we would all work to and work towards and I have to say both sides are adhering to exactly that.”
Nash has praised the relationships Warburton has forged with manufacturers and believes it is a strong step towards securing Ford’s involvement in the series.
“I am not speaking out of school saying that James and V8 Supercars know Ford has to be part of what we (the category) do. So one way or another we would be running – or someone – will be running Fords.”
FPR will look to continue their run of recent successes at the next round in Townsville this weekend.