Marcos Ambrose has declared Ford’s new Mustang Supercar world-class, hailing the ‘incredible’ step forward the Australian category’s cars have made in recent years.
Four years after making a short-lived Supercars comeback, the 2003 and ’04 champion has returned to the Superloop Adelaide 500 to help launch Mustang’s Supercars entry.
Ambrose is driving a Mustang NASCAR as part of a demonstration involving the Supercar, driven by Dick Johnson, and a road-going Mustang, steered by Scott McLaughlin.
Although not slated to drive the Supercar, Ambrose has given it a closer look and expressed surprise at how far the category has developed since he left.
The Mustang Supercar is the result of a three-way development project between DJR Team Penske, US-based Ford Performance and Ford Australia.
“The Mustang, looking at it, the race-bred variety they’ve got at the front of the garage there, that’s a serious racecar for Australian racing and what we’ve got here,” he said.
“That is world standard, cutting edge, it’s quite incredible to see what kind of stuff is in that car and what a modern Supercar is.
“It’s a very technical car and probably a lot of fun to drive. People should be proud of building a car like that in Australia.”
The Mustang Supercar has made an impressive start to competition life, topping two of the three practice sessions in Adelaide.
McLaughlin then led the way in ARMOR ALL Qualifying on Friday afternoon, a session in which four Mustangs finished in the top six.
While Ambrose said he’d like the chance to drive the car this weekend, Johnson was quick to shut down any suggestions of a car-swap.
The 73-year-old described the current-generation Supercars as “pretty easy” to drive, but isn’t keen on sampling the NASCAR.
“The gearstick in those things is like a spoon in a bowl of custard and the brakes are the same, so I’m fine where I am, thanks,” he said.
Johnson made a handful of NASCAR starts in Australia and the United States during 1990/91, while Ambrose raced full-time in the US from 2006-14.