DJR Team Penske boss Ryan Story has urged fans to reserve judgement on the look of the new Ford Mustang Supercar until 2019.
The release of the first images of the car during its maiden test on Wednesday triggered an avalanche of social media commentary, with its shape causing much debate.
Ford’s Mustang is the first two-door body to be adapted to the control Supercars chassis, requiring its roof to be raised and overall profile lengthened.
The Mustang race car also features a noticeably tapered nose and high rear wing, as DJRTP and Ford Performance look to maximise aerodynamic efficiency.
Its aero package is subject to changes as development continues, with the car sporting evidence of removable bumper cheeks in the single track image distributed on Wednesday.
While any such tweaks will likely be relatively minor, Story says waiting until the car is seen in a regular racing livery, rather than its camouflage testing look, is important.
“It’s reinforced my view that we’ve got a passionate supporter base, not just for our team, but for Ford and the entire series,” he told Supercars.com when asked of the reaction.
“Seeing some of the online commentary is great, even though not all of it is in our favour.
“We decided to run with it in a camo livery to mask some of the elements of the car and keep a few things up our sleeve, which is absolutely the right approach.
“But we’ve also been open about the challenges we’ve faced fitting the Mustang to the control chassis.
“I’ve spent [Wednesday] morning going through iterations of 2019 livery on the new car and it looks pretty good.
“In the flesh the car looks really wonderful. It’s one of those things that, there’s going to be a bit of a polarised view, but just wait and see when we hit the track in 2019.
“It’s a good looking car and we’re proud of the work that we’ve all collectively put into it.
“There’s a lot of Mustang DNA in the car. Reserve judgement until you get the chance to see it, whether that’s up close in the flesh or on racetracks in 2019.”
The Mustang Supercar was designed with the input of Ford’s Asia Pacific Design Studio, as part of efforts to balance aesthetic and performance requirements.
Testing of the Mustang will continue at Phillip Island on Saturday, before straightline running next week in preparation for homologation following Newcastle.