Mount Panorama served up a compelling combination of highs and lows for the Ford Mustang contingent at the first round of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.
Cam Waters and Will Davison scored the first podiums for Ford in season 2021. The best of the Ford runners at the end of the weekend is Davison, who is fourth on the point-score and leads four Mustang drivers in the Top 10 of the championship.
“It was so great to see all the teams back on Mount Panorama to kick off the season. They all gave it their best, with some standout individual performances,” said Andrew Birkic, president and CEO of Ford Australia. “It was good to see plenty of speed from the Mustangs and we know there is much more to come as the 2021 season unfolds.”
Cam Waters was quickest and bagged two front-row starting positions with his Monster Energy Tickford Racing Ford Mustang, establishing him as an early championship challenger. If he had not been hit by a power steering pump problem on Saturday afternoon he could easily have finished with a pair of podiums.
Anton de Pasquale was fast in his first start with Shell V-Power Racing and his veteran team mate Will Davison was strong and solid, bagging his first podium on his return to the team where he scored his first Supercars win.
David Reynolds showed speed as he adapted to a new team and car, while James Courtney was feisty as always until he hit the wall at The Cutting on Sunday.
The weekend was marred for Tim Slade of CoolDrive Racing by a crash that caused major damage to the Mustang, after qualifying in the front row for Race 1.
Tim Edwards, Tickford Racing
- “It was an encouraging weekend. And the most encouraging thing is that we have fast cars.
- “But we also saw that this track bites, for both Cam Waters and James Courtney. Jack Le Brocq had a great result on Saturday but then he really battled on Sunday with a burnt foot.
- “It’s very early days, but we’re looking like championship contenders. Even with his problem, Cam still managed to pull 45 points out of Saturday’s race and that could be very important at the end of the year.”
Ben Croke, Dick Johnson Racing
- “It’s a solid start with two new guys. We probably weren’t particularly great here last October for the Bathurst 1000, so to start the new season with both guys in the top five is good.
- “It’s not fantastic, but it’s very strong. We got a trophy on the first day with Will Davison, and Anton de Pasquale was fast all weekend.
- “We’re looking forward to the racing through the championship and putting the pressure back on the other teams.”
Todd Kelly, Kelly Grove Racing
- “We are eighth and 10th in the championship with straight cars after a clean weekend. But we’re not where we want to be at the moment, pace-wise.
- “We’re hovering around the back end of the Top 10, but given that 50 per cent of the crew is new, with new drivers and new philosophies, it’s a realistic result.
- “I’m a little bit disappointed but it’s a realistic result given that everything is so new. Taking all that into account, I’m pretty happy to get out of this weekend with a solid start and so much in the pipeline for the races to come.”
Tim Blanchard, CoolDrive Racing
- “We achieved far more than we expected on the weekend. It’s a gut wrenching finish but to turn up for the first race and put the car on the front row, and then be fighting for a podium finish, is fantastic.
- “Tim is pretty upset but he’s done a terrific job from the very start. He’s the driver for us and the result on Saturday doesn’t change a thing.
- “Having our blue Ford Mustang on the grid works all round. We love the look of the car in our colours and it has been really strong out of the gate.”
- Will Davison, 4th;
- Cam Waters, 6th;
- David Reynolds, 8th;
- Jack Le Brocq, 9th;
- Andre Heimgartner, 10th;
- Anton de Pasquale, 18th;
- James Courtney, 21st;
- Tim Slade, 24th