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Ford allowed Mustang aero changes after Supercars parity review

Supercars has given Ford the green light to introduce a new aero package for this weekend’s Gold Coast 500.

Anton De Pasquale, Tony D'Alberto, Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang GT

A number of changes have been allowed to the Gen3 Mustang, including alterations to the rear wing, side skirt and front fascia elements.

The changes should reduce drag and redistribute downforce to the rear of the car, according to a statement by Supercars.

The overhaul had been considered imminent after the championship announced a parity review - its second of the season - in the wake of the Bathurst 1000. 

It is believed that the parity threshold had been triggered at the Great Race due to the disparity in speed between the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro, prompting Supercars to consider adjustments to their relative performances.

These adjustments were officially confirmed on Tuesday, with all Ford teams now allowed to bring updated aero to Surfers Paradise for the penultimate round of the season.

“After a comprehensive evaluation conducted by Supercars, and in consultation with the Homologation Teams, it has been determined that adjustments will be implemented to the Ford Mustang Vehicle Specification Document in preparation for the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500 event,” read a statement.

“These modifications include alterations to the rear wing, side skirt, and front fascia elements, with the primary aim of reducing drag, and redistributing downforce to the rear of the Mustang.”

Matthew Payne, Grove Racing Ford Mustang GT

Photo by: Edge Photographics

Matthew Payne, Grove Racing Ford Mustang GT

Ford had originally been pushing to run the updated aero at Bathurst and had already manufactured a number of new parts to take to Mount Panorama.

However, despite some intense lobbying, these changes weren’t approved as they fell outside of parity review and thus required cooperation from Chevrolet teams.

Although Ford has now finally been granted its wish as part of a formal review, the American manufacturer still expects to face a clear deficit to its rival in the Gold Coast double-header.

Ford claims that aero changes won’t be sufficient to bridge the gap entirely, as the relative engine performance of the two Gen3 cars is also a matter of concern.

“Following the activation of the Supercars Parity Review System at the Repco Bathurst 1000 Dick Johnson Racing, in conjunction with Ford Performance, conducted a review of the parity deficit,” it said

“This extensive review demonstrated a need for both aerodynamic and engine updates.

“Ahead of the Boost Mobile Gold Coast 500, Supercars has approved changes only to the aerodynamics of the Mustang GT Supercar, which will continue to leave Ford teams at a disadvantage this weekend.

Anton De Pasquale, Tony D'Alberto, Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang GT

Photo by: Edge Photographics

Anton De Pasquale, Tony D'Alberto, Dick Johnson Racing Ford Mustang GT

“DJR established that a parity deficit existed using the process outlined in the Supercars Parity Review System. Through the available vehicle and timing data, DJR established a lap time deficit of 0.42s per lap compared to the Camaro at Mount Panorama.

“According to simulations, combining the proposed aerodynamic and engine changes would have resulted in a total lap time reduction of 0.308 seconds, bringing the total deficit down to 0.112 seconds per lap.

“However, with Supercars only approving the aerodynamic update, Ford teams will remain at a larger disadvantage this weekend.

“Ford and its teams welcome Supercars announcement that they are expanding their parity methods and tools. We hope this expansion allows for the achievement of true technical parity, a cornerstone of the series."

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