FORD’S Mustang GT4 would be ‘right in contention’ for class honors at the 2019 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour, according to one driver with hands-on experience with the Blue Oval’s latest endurance racing special.
Tony D’Alberto was the first driver to steer Ford’s newest GT4 contender at Mount Panorama when he participated in a series of speed comparison events against other Ford products throughout the recent Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 weekend.
Sharing the 6.213km circuit with a Ford Falcon Supercar and a Ford GT LMGTE car, the Mustang GT4 drew plenty of attention on its own thanks to clear pace and a sensational noise.
D’Alberto, who last weekend teamed with Max Twigg to claim the CAMS Australian Endurance Championship at Hampton Downs, said the car was a serious contender in the GT4 ranks.
“It was an unbelievable opportunity to be given the keys to the first Mustang GT4 in Australia, and to drive it around the Mountain was very special,” he said.
“The first thing that blew me away was the sound of the engine and exhaust, so loud and throaty! With Paddle Shift, ABS and Traction Control it has all the good things that make GT racing enjoyable.
“I didn’t get to fully explore the handling capabilities but the grip and aero the car had was fantastic and I certainly didn’t reach the limit of grip available.”
The GT4 class is quickly growing in strength, with several new models in the pipeline and now eligible to compete in Australia’s International Enduro.
While the KTM X-Bow, Ginetta, BMW M4 GT4 and Porsche Cayman entries have filled the class of late, new cars from Audi, Mercedes-AMG and more are on the horizon.
D’Alberto said the Mustang would easily be a contender among the ever-growing variety that is now filling the class.
“This is very much a purpose built race car and a very well engineered one at that. It’s not just a Mustang with a roll cage. It would be great to see a few of these racing around at the B12 next year – without a doubt they would be right in contention.”
The 2019 Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour will be held between January 30 – February 3, 2019.
The Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour is supported by the NSW Government via its tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.