Holdsworth: Mustang an opportunity for Tickford

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 05/02/2019
  • By Mitchell Adam

Tickford Racing recruit Lee Holdsworth believes Ford's incoming Mustang Supercar arrives at a good time for the team.

The Ford outfit endured a difficult 2018, when the average championship position of its four drivers fell to 14.75 from 9.75 a year earlier.

Holdsworth arrives to replace stalwart Mark Winterbottom, while Tickford's fourth entry has been parked to run Will Davison for customer 23Red Racing.

They, and incumbents Chaz Mostert and Cameron Waters, will race the new Mustang being formally launched by Ford Australia later on Tuesday.

Ford's FG Falcon was introduced as a Supercar in 2009, updated for the Car of the Future platform in '13 and then tweaked into the FG X two years later.

While that longevity did not stop Scott McLaughlin taking the 2018 title for DJR Team Penske, Holdsworth believes the Mustang offers a timely reset for Tickford.

"I think the Ford in general has struggled with aero in the last few years," Holdsworth told Supercars.com.

"The FG X has been around for quite a long time now, that same style bodyshell, same aero package, and other manufacturers have moved forward from there.

"Now, having the Mustang coming into the mix has certainly given them a great opportunity to improve the aero package and it certainly looks like they've done that.

"I feel like they've certainly got all of the resources there that they need, they've got a great driving crew there.

"I think we can all support each other and the big thing for the team is to have some harmony between the drivers and the team and all be working together.

"I feel really positive and confident that we'll have that.

"All the ingredients, I think, are there, it's now about putting it all together and making sure we're all pushing in the right direction."

The Mustang carried a camouflage livery in pre-homologation tests last November

Holdsworth raced an FG Falcon in 2012 with Stone Brothers Racing, then the COTF Mercedes and VF/ZB Commodores.

While his first taste of the Tickford package comes in next week's Phillip Island test, Davison is no stranger to the squad.

In addition to racing a Tickford-built Falcon for 23Red in 2018, he spent three seasons with the team during its Ford Performance Racing days.

Holdsworth believes fresh input from himself and Davison will prove beneficial.

"I think the team were at a point where they needed quite a big change," Holdsworth added.

"And I think the Mustang has put a bit of a leap back in their step, a couple of new drivers there in myself and Will, who are enthusiastic, we've got a fair bit of experience behind us and we're pumped to get going.

"But also to have that balance of having a couple of drivers in there who have been there for a while now as well, they know the ropes and hopefully they can help get Will and I up to speed quickly.

"I think Chaz and Cam have been doing a brilliant job and I think you'll see them step up again this year with everything that's going on in the team.

"If I can get up to speed quickly and try and work with those guys, that's the plan. I hope to be on the pace as quickly as possible.

"Hopefully by the first round I'll have enough miles under my belt to be able to push the car to the limit."

Tickford liveries, including for Holdsworth's Bottle-O Mustang, will be revealed over before the Phillip Island test.

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