Preparations for Matt Stone Racing’s maiden Virgin Australia Supercars Championship campaign have stepped up a gear.
The Yatala, Queensland-based team has taken delivery of the ex-Shell V-Power Racing Ford Falcon FG X that Todd Hazelwood will drive this season.
Hazelwood, 22, steps up to the main series with MSR after the driver and team won the Dunlop Super2 Series together in 2017.
The Falcon to be fielded for Hazelwood is V8SC 024, which had been retained as a spare by the Shell squad since it was last raced by Scott Pye at Winton in 2016.
It had earlier been used by David Wall at the end of 2014 and Pye and Marcos Ambrose the following season, for which it was upgraded from FG to FG X bodywork.
Hazelwood is expected to have his first taste of the car with a rookie test at Queensland Raceway on February 9, and says he’s unsure what to expect after two years in Triple Eight-built Holden Commodore VFs.
MSR's move into the main series with a Ford and the manufacturer switch that has come with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport's transformation into 23Red Racing means there will be eight Falcons on the grid this year.
In addition to new hardware, MSR has beefed up its staff for the new season, including recruiting former Tekno Autosports team manager Steve Greer.
The team will also run an ex-Shell V-Power Falcon in Super2, to be driven by former MW Motorsport pilot Bryce Fullwood.
Fullwood’s chassis is V8SC 010, which was raced by Jonny Reid and Chaz Mostert in 2013 and then by Wall for the bulk of '14 before a heavy crash at Pukekohe.
It briefly reappeared in Pye’s hands for the final two rounds of 2015, after which it was retained by the team as a spare.