2023 Ford Mustang laps Bathurst with Dick Johnson

2023 Ford Mustang laps Bathurst with Dick Johnson

The seventh generation Ford Mustang V8 was unveiled in Australia in V8 Supercars war paint and will do demonstration laps of Mount Panorama over the Bathurst 1000 weekend.

The first Australian appearance of the 2023 Ford Mustang takes place this weekend during the Bathurst 1000 race weekend at Mount Panorama.

Legendary Ford racer Dick Johnson, three-time Bathurst 1000 winner, this afternoon put in the first laps of the new Ford Mustang ahead of its showroom arrival next year and his entry into V8 Supercars racing at the start of the 2023 season.

It’s the first public display of the 2023 Mustang racer anywhere in the world as it is slated for a competition program that includes Le Mans in France and NASCAR in the US, although the road car was unveiled at the Detroit Motor Show two weeks ago.

The new Ford Mustang is slated to hit US showrooms in mid-2023 and in Australia late next year.

Accurately mirroring the upcoming showroom contender, the new Mustang racer is powered by a race-prepared 5.4-litre version of its 5.0-litre ‘Coyote’ engine for the ‘Gen3’ era of V8 Supercars race driven when he will compete against the Chevrolet Camaro.

Ford has been criticized in the past for the shape of the Mustang racer, which has had to be fundamentally changed to allow for competitive parity with the Holden ZB Commodore – which is retiring from supercars later this year.

“The Gen3 Mustang GT supercar looks more like its street counterpart, with a production-based Coyote engine, low roofline and long hood,” Ford said in a media statement.

The track star at Bathurst isn’t brand new, only taking on the body changes for the 2023 Ford Mustang after a quick build-up at Dick Johnson Racing in Queensland.

Ford Australia unveiled its new motorsport spearhead a year ago, also at Bathurst, with a prototype car powered by a Coyote V8 but clad in a sixth-generation Mustang body.

Now he’s gone all-in with the seventh generation racing Mustang and will lap Bathurst again at race weekend alongside the Chevrolet Camaro prototype.

Ford Australia tells journey It was an easy decision to select Dick Johnson – a three-time Bathurst winner in Fords – to launch the 2023 Ford Mustang race car.

“Dick Johnson is a legend in the sport and has been a proud Ford Ambassador for four decades, so we didn’t think there was a better person for the job,” said Ben Nightingale, Ford Australia’s Production Communications and Motorsport Manager journey.

“We believe the fans will feel the same way.”

Joining Johnson will also be former Bathurst winners Steven Richards – who claimed the first of four Bathurst 1000 crowns in a 1998 Ford Falcon – and Luke Youlden driving the Mustang.

“We assume that we will drive the car in six sessions over the weekend. There will be many opportunities to see and hear the car. It should run a total of around 40 laps,” said Mr Nightingale.

Ford has also braced for the wet weather forecast to whip up Mount Panorama over the race weekend.

“Dunlop made sure that the car had more than enough rain tires. We shall need them,’ said Mr Nightingale.

Although Dick Johnson will be doing solo laps when the Mustang first appears, Ford intends to capitalize on his back-to-back appearances with the Chevrolet Camaro.

“It will be a kind of test session. It’s the first time the Gen3 Mustang has driven with the new body and we’re excited to see how it goes,” said Mr Nightingale.

Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years and has worked for newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for driving has taken him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racer as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

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