Ford’s aero battle at Bathurst: A disheartening standoff

Grove Racing Ford Mustang GT (

In Bathurst, a bitter standoff unfolded on Wednesday evening over proposed aero modifications, as Ford persistently pushed for changes to the front bar of the Mustang. Despite clear indications that approval was unlikely, as the changes fell outside an official parity review, Ford continued its lobby efforts. However, achieving cooperation from Chevrolet teams, especially on the brink of the year’s most significant race, was always a long shot.

Supercars has now formally rejected the proposed changes, casting a cloud of disappointment over Ford and its affiliated teams just as they were gearing up for practice sessions leading to the Bathurst 1000. In a statement, Ford expressed its deep commitment to supporting its teams and drivers in their pursuit of excellence on the track. It voiced profound disappointment in the ongoing lack of technical parity in the Supercars Championship, which has put Ford and its teams at a significant disadvantage throughout the 2023 season. Despite their skills and hard work, Ford’s teams have struggled to compete with cars that have a clear advantage, leading to frustration among racing partners, fans, and supporters who expect to see Ford on the podium and in contention for championships.

Despite strenuous efforts by Ford, homologation team Dick Johnson Racing (DJR), and engine supplier Herrod Performance Engines to collaborate with all stakeholders for a level playing field, the series organizer’s lack of action has limited their ability to compete on equal terms. Ford had long requested data transparency to understand the disparity between the two cars, which had been repeatedly rejected. The latest parity review initiated when Supercars’ computational fluid dynamics (CFD) partner, D2H Group, provided aerodynamic data for both cars on August 24, demonstrating that aerodynamic parity had not been achieved. Ford and DJR had worked in good faith to create an aerodynamic update package to bring the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro Gen3 Supercars closer to aerodynamic parity. However, on the eve of the Bathurst 1000, the Supercars Board refused to approve the changes. Ford emphasized that this was not a reflection of their cars or racing programs’ quality, expressing confidence in their vehicles and teams’ capabilities. They urged Supercars to create the level playing field their fans and supporters deserved. Practice for the Bathurst 1000 was scheduled to kick off at 1:20 pm.