Scott McLaughlin, Fabian Coulthard impressed by Supercars Ford Mustang

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Scott McLaughlin tests out next year’s Mustang.

Both Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard have been blown away by the Mustang they’ll be driving in Supercars next year.

The comprehensive testing program of Ford’s new-for-2019 Supercars challenger continued on Saturday at the high-speed Phillip Island Grand Prix circuit, south of Melbourne.

The Mustang, a joint project between Ford Performance, DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing, ran around the 4.4km seaside circuit in its second homologation test under the direction of Ford Performance and DJR Team Penske engineering staff.

The prototype car was piloted by Supercars Championship leader McLaughlin, and his Shell V-Power Racing teammate Coulthard.

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Ford Performance Supercars aerodynamics lead Sriram Pakkam, who was present at the test, said that confirmation of the Computer Aided Design (CAD) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) work at a high-speed, high-load circuit like Phillip Island was important to the continued testing of the Mustang programme.

“After the initial work we undertook at Queensland Raceway on Wednesday, it was beneficial to be able to continue that validation process under the high aerodynamic loads we saw at Phillip Island today,” Pakkam said.

“It’s valuable to have the ability to spend a day getting a better understanding of real world performance under these types of conditions. 

“Both Scott and Fabian’s feedback is vital to how we approach the set-up of this car, and they have been fantastic throughout the process.”

McLaughlin, who is the current Supercars lap record holder at Phillip Island and won both races there earlier this year, said that testing the new car was a career highlight.

“Being a part of this programme is very special, but testing the new car here at Phillip Island only adds to that feeling,” McLaughlin said.

“This circuit is one of my favourites, and I always enjoy the challenge of driving here. It was fantastic to being able to put Mustang through its paces on the Island.”

Coulthard, who got behind the wheel for the afternoon session, said he expects Mustang to be a fantastic competitor for the Ford brand.

“Working through this process with the support of Ford has been fantastic, and it’s great for the sport to have Mustang on the grid next year,” Coulthard said.

“Being a part of the programme is a privilege, and I can’t wait to race it in 2019.”

Mustang testing will continue in coming weeks, before Supercars homologation testing begins in December.

The final race of the 2018 Supercars season will be the Newcastle 500, across the weekend of November 23-25, where Ford teams will farewell the Falcon ahead of the introduction of the Mustang for the 2019 season.

– Stuff