The new changes to the Ford Mustang are “good for the sport”, according to Tickford Racing boss Tim Edwards.
For only the second time this decade, Ford has sealed the Manufacturers’ Championship with Mustangs victorious in 16 of the season’s 18 races.
All six Mustangs are placed in the top 10 after the eighth round in Townsville. At the same stage 12 months ago, just three Mustangs sat in the top 10.
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In a bid to maintain parity between the Mustang, Holden ZB Commodore and Nissan Altima, Supercars moved to lower centre of gravity in the cars by moving around ballast, which is used to reach the car’s required 1395kg minimum weight.
This was initially achieved following a study carried out in April after the Mustang had romped to six wins at Adelaide and Albert Park to open the season.
Supercars chose to move 6.8kg of the Commodore’s ballast to the roof of the car, while 28kg was moved on the Mustang.
Ahead of this weekend’s action in Ipswich, the 6.8kg in the Commodore has been moved to the floor, while ballast on the Altima’s engine has been moved to the sump.
Meanwhile, nine of the 28kg of lead ballast in the Mustang has been moved to the car floor, while composite header rails at the front and rear screens will be replaced by heavier steel components.
Edwards believes the changes are a major positive and a “better solution” for teams.
“There has been a lot of controversy this year, but in actual fact were are quite happy with the changes made,” Edwards said in a team video.
“What we’re doing is we’re actually changing some of the lead that’s in the roll cage at the top, and the header rails at the front and rear of the screens, they’re actually composite at the moment, and we’re changing them back to the steel OE panels.
“It’s a much better solution that having lead wrapped around the roll cage.
“It’s actually a really good thing for the sport. Instead of having 20 cars on the grid with ballast in the roof, we’ll only have the six Mustangs with ballast in the roof.
“That’s a positive for the sport and as a team we’re quite happy about the change.”
Shell V-Power Racing tested at Queensland Raceway last week and ran with the new changes, with Scott McLaughlin noticing little difference.
The team has been the benchmark with reigning champion McLaughlin and teammate Fabian Coulthard having won 15 of the season’s 18 races between them.
The Queensland-based squad is also 877 points ahead of arch rivals the Red Bull Holden Racing Team, which boasts Holden’s only two wins this year through Shane van Gisbergen.
The Holden outfit – buoyed by the brand’s new factory deal – also tested in Ipswich, a day which seven-time champion Jamie Whincup described as “vital” as he tries to cut his whopping 640-point deficit to McLaughlin.
“There’s a few things, four or five things have really confused us over the last four or five months,” Whincup said.
“We didn’t have as much clarity as we would have liked, but we got a lot more clarity with a few things today.
“With the limited test days the category has got, every one is vital.
“We’ve been hanging for this day for a long time to really validate some things we’ve been trying at race meetings and have a lot better understanding for a lot of set-up things in the car.”