Ford Supercars drivers could join GT factory pool
Supercars stars will be in the frame to join Ford's factory driver pool once the Mustang GT programme kicks off.
Ford will take on the international GT scene from 2024 onwards with a GT3 and GT4 versions of its seventh-generation Mustang.
The GT cars will be developed by Ford Performance and Multimatic Motorsports, before the latter runs a two-car, factory-backed IMSA GTD Pro effort that will kick off at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2024.
The GT3 and GT4 Mustangs will also go on the market for customer programmes, Ford Performance hoping to see the cars competing in major GT races and series around the world.
As part of the customer programme, Ford Performance is set to have a pool of 'factory' drivers that can be farmed out to teams for those major GT events and even season-long programmes.
The same system has long been used by traditional GT manufacturers such as Porsche, Mercedes and Audi.
Ford Performance confirmed to Motorsport.com that Supercars drivers will be among those considered for the factory pool once the GT programme is up and running.
That Supercars talent could prove particularly useful when it comes to fighting for a Mustang victory at the Bathurst 12 Hour.
Ford will back five teams in Supercars next year with a driver roster that includes significant GT experience.
Chaz Mostert, who will return to the Ford fold with Walkinshaw Andretti United next season, is a former factory BMW driver and won the Daytona 24 Hours for the German manufacturer in 2020.
Nick Percat has Bathurst 12 Hour experience as does Dick Johnson Racing's Will Davison, Grove Racing's David Reynolds, and Tickford's Cam Waters.
Matthew Payne, who will join Grove Racing next season, has spent this year competing in the European Le Mans Series in an LMGTE Ferrari.
Speaking to Motorsport.com last week, Ford Performance boss Mark Rushbrook confirmed that he wants to see the GT3-spec Mustang race, and win, at Mount Panorama in the future.
However the timing of the customer GT programme is still up in the air, as outlined by Rushbrook in a subsequent briefing with Australian media.
"We’re still looking at what our rate and flow is going to be for the actual build of the Mustang GT3 car to confirm how fast we’re going to be able to get cars out to different parts of the world," said Rushbrook.
"Obviously with supply chain issues as we see in our production cars, we have the same concerns even when we’re building at a low volume like GT3.
"So as we get a good line of sight on that, as we’re building the cars about a year from now, we want to get them out to the most important races as quickly as we can.
"So I can’t commit at this point when we would have a Mustang GT3 competing at Bathurst but it is at the very top of our list."
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