While most of us are getting excited at the prospect of the potential arrival of the Ford Mustang in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship when the series opens up to different body shapes and engine configurations under the Gen2 rules, Roland Dane does not share that enthusiasm, as he explains to V8X Supercar Magazine in issue #99.
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Dane, the Triple Eight Race Engineering boss and Supercars board member, is concerned the car has been homologated for the global GT4 category and will inevitably race in Australia as the class gains traction.
GT4 is a low-tech production-based class designed for amateur races. The Australian GT series added a GT4 class in 2017. And with Ford Mustang already homologated for GT4 and General Motors rival Chevrolet following suit with the Camaro, there is the possibility that the traditional Ford versus Holden (via General Motors) rivalry could live on in GT racing at a time of uncertainty over whether Ford will approve the use of the Mustang in Supercars against the new-generation Commodore being built by Triple Eight.
"As GT4 cars get more prevalent – which they will purely because of the pricepoint for amateur drivers around the world – I am very concerned there will be confusion between some of those cars and ours if we are not careful," Dane told V8X Supercar Magazine.
"They are inevitably going to be on the same billing. If we have got the GT4 Mustang, GT4 Camaro, GT4 BMW... then the punter is looking and saying, 'What's the difference between your car and a GT4? Am I watching a Supercars race or a GT race?'
"If someone wants to run one they can run one. Technically, I don't have an issue with it... Do I think it is a good marketing exercise? No I don't."
Dane's comments echo those of Australian motorsport insiders who have questioned whether Supercars' direction into Gen2 is too close to the GT platform. And, therefore, whether manufacturers already committed to GT racing at such a low cost (selling its production-based cars to teams) will also opt for Supercars.
Dane's opinion also adds spice to Triple Eight's building rivalry with DJR Team Penske, which is in ongoing discussions with Ford Performance in the United States of America to develop the Mustang into a Supercar.
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