TIME is running out for the Ford Mustang to join the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in 2018, admits Team Penske president Tim Cindric.
The American giant expects to continue with its current Falcons in 2018 unless the Mustang gets the green light from Ford Australia within the next month.
Penske’s Shell V-Power Racing and fellow Ford Supercars team Prodrive have collaborated on feasibility studies into a Mustang program, which needs Ford’s blessing to go ahead.
The Blue Oval withdrew its support from Supercars racing at the end of 2015 but continues to enjoy significant success thanks to the two privately funded squads running Falcons.
“At this point I don’t see that we will be running anything different from what we have on track today,” Cindric told Supercars.com of his team’s 2018 plans.
“There has been a lot of discussion about Mustangs and all that stuff.
“I wouldn’t say it’s 100 per cent over but at this point in time it’ll probably be the same as what we’re running now (FG X Falcons).
“I think the window is closing very quickly for Mustang. Anything beyond May I think becomes unrealistic to do a good job.”
Cindric affirmed that Penske has made its desire to introduce the Mustang known to Ford bosses in the US, where Penske spearheads its NASCAR program.
Currently the two Supercars teams have only an intellectual property deal with Ford that allows them to use the Falcon body and Blue Oval logos.
“It’s no surprise to anybody what we’d like to do and what the category would like to do,” said Cindric when asked of discussion with Ford in the US.
Cindric is however confident that the Mustang Supercar body will fit over the current control chassis.
It’s unlikely the Ford Mustang will be a force in 2018 but there is hope the pony car will line up in 2019.