Scott McLaughlin performs a burnout after winning at the Ipswich SuperSprint last month. Picture: AAP/Edge Photographics Mark Horsburgh
Scott McLaughlin performs a burnout after winning at the Ipswich SuperSprint last month. Picture: AAP/Edge Photographics Mark Horsburgh

Lowndes backs Mustangs at The Bend

MUSTANGS are expected to turn around Ford's poor past Supercars performance at The Bend at the OTR SuperSprint this weekend, with the open-flowing style of the track to work in the car's favour.

No Ford Falcon driver was on the podium at the inaugural event held last year, with the two Red Bull Holden Racing Team drivers sharing a win each, and two Nissan drivers finishing second and third in the first race.

Eventual champion Scott McLaughlin had one of his worst rounds of the season, by his team Shell V-Power Racing's standards, finishing 6th and 10th.

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This year, Ford already has taken out the 2019 manufacturers' title in the Supercars championship - despite a third of the season yet to run, and only six Mustangs compared to 14 Holden Commodores on the grid - off the back of the high-performing Mustang and championship leader McLaughlin's 14 race wins.

All six Ford Mustang drivers are in the top 10 in the championship race so far this year.

Fox Sports Supercars expert commentator Craig Lowndes believes the nature of the The Bend Motorsport Park circuit will suit the Mustang, which may see its success continue.

Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Ford Mustang driver Scott McLaughlin has sprayed the most champagne from the winner’s step on the Supercars podium this year. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Ford Mustang driver Scott McLaughlin has sprayed the most champagne from the winner’s step on the Supercars podium this year. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images

"The Mustang at the moment seems to do very well in open flowing style of tracks, and Tailem Bend is that style," he says.

"The Mustang will have a different outcome for them this weekend (than last year).

"I expect the Mustang to be very strong."

Lowndes says The Bend is a similar style of track to Phillip Island, which was dominated by Mustangs and in particular Shell V-Power Racing in April, however there still was not another track like it in Australia.

Holden was the big winner at the 2018 OTR SuperSprint held at The Bend Motorsport Park. Picture: AAP/David Mariuz
Holden was the big winner at the 2018 OTR SuperSprint held at The Bend Motorsport Park. Picture: AAP/David Mariuz

"(Phillip Island) has some characteristics of The Bend, but the layout they've created with the multiple layers - the short track, the longer track - they've been able to accommodate for lots of different categories, it's quite exciting to have a circuit like that in Australia," he says.

"You don't see that unless you go out to Europe.

"It's very unique and I think it's great for Adelaide and great for South Australia.

"It was challenging for all of us (drivers) to get our head around (last year)."

Lowndes will take to the track in a 30-minute co-driver session on Friday in a Holden, as Jamie Whincup's enduro partner at Red Bull Holden Racing Team.

Fox Sports Supercars expert commentator Craig Lowndes will also take part in the co-driver session being held at the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend on Friday. Picture: Mark Horsburgh
Fox Sports Supercars expert commentator Craig Lowndes will also take part in the co-driver session being held at the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend on Friday. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

It may help bridge the divide in results between the team and its rival Shell V-Power Racing, as neither of the latter's co-drivers will be participating in the session.

"It's exciting for me to get back in the car and help Jamie out and hopefully set a course for the weekend," Lowndes says.

"It's a great opportunity to get out on the track, have some input and feel again what the development that Red Bull have had with the cars."