The lure of full factory support is what caused the seismic shift of Andrew United’s Wokinshow to Ford in the 3rd generation era in supercars.
After the former flagship team Commodore lost its long-held Holden Racing Team position to Triple Eight Race Engineering, the former flagship team Commodore went looking for a complete factory connection for Gen3.
There were several other approaches – presumably BMW and Jaguar – to a successful relationship with Ford.
Under the new contract, Chaz Mostert and Nick Percott will be racing for a pair of all-new Ford Mustangs from the start of the 2023 season.
The announcement of linking WAU and Ford comes straight from the top and is confirmed by Jim Farley, the global CEO of Ford Motor Company, today in a joint statement that includes WAU executives and Ford Australia chief Andrew Birkic.
“This is a really important series for us. This is a really important moment for the company, ”Farley said.
“We want to put ourselves in a better position to fight for the championship. It’s really not the best OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to be matched with, ”says Zach Brown, one of the WAU owners.
“The whole point is to build a stronger team. It will take us to a new level, ”Birkich says.
“We want to win the race. We are very reluctant to do so. But we also want the team to be stable.
“We want the teams to be super competitive. And really connected with the fans. “
Ryan Walkinshaw, who talks about his father Tom, who drove a Ford Capri in the 1970s, admits that some WAU fans will be very unhappy with the transition from red to blue.
“It still feels a little weird. It didn’t get into the house, ”Walkinshaw says.
“You expect some hot reaction. Disappointment. Anger. (But) the vast majority of our fans will follow us to who we are. ”
It confirms that factory support from Ford is a vital component for WAU’s future in supercars.
“We studied what we needed to become a factory team again in a few years.
“Not the fact that we quarreled with GM. We wanted to make a change. We wanted to be a factory team and wanted a partnership where we felt we were wanted.
“After all, we have a few options, but this one was right.”
Despite the new connection, Birkic says there are no plans to link road cars between Ford and the Walkinshaw group in Australia.
Ford Australia confirms that it will continue to work with existing Mustang teams led by Dick Johnson Racing as the official rejuvenation team for the Gen3 Mustang.
WAU team boss Bruce Stewart says the future move will not affect the team’s current program with ZB Commodores.
“We are entering a new era with Gen3, and we are proud to see Holden for the rest of his time,” he says.
“I do not think there are any excuses. We expect that we will continue to move forward. We are moving forward. This is another support. “
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