Ford's new FG V8 Supercar 'FG01' is set to roll from its current home at Ford Performance Racing (FPR) to the tarmac at Sandown this weekend, making its public debut at the Midas 400 in Melbourne.
Based on Ford's recently launched FG Falcon XR8 sedan road car, the new Blue Oval weapon will feature a striking 'Nitro' blue with white themed livery.
The FG01 prototype will reside in pit lane for the duration of the event, from where it will launch into a number of preview laps on the 3.1 kilometre circuit.
Craig Lowndes is set to steer the new Falcon with associate Ford driver and Channel Seven pit reporter Grant Denyer riding as passenger, giving the V8 Supercar world a glimpse of Ford's future in the sport.
"There has been a lot of excitement at Ford surrounding the launch of the new FG Falcon road-going series, and that excitement has certainly extended to the development of our new racecar," said Ford Racing Manager, Ray Price.
"Our new V8 Supercar has been in development for over 18 months, and it is great that we have been able to get FG01 out on the track so quickly off the back of revealing the new model Falcons.
"Ford's V8 Supercar teams have been invaluable in having the car we have numbered FG01 ready for a mid-year homologation."
Ford Australia's technical motorsport strategy was to include major Ford teams into as much development of the FG V8 Supercar as they were able to support.
FPR, Triple 8 (T8) and Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) played a pivotal role in building the FG test car which is called T2 internally – T1 was the test car for the currently raced BA/BF V8 Supercar model.
This call to unified action for our major teams to create a highly competitive new Falcon V8 Supercar package resulted in three major teams working closely with Ford to ensure accuracy of design, packaging and technical elements.
FPR undertook the overall design and build of FG01, with Team Principle Tim Edwards intricately involved in the project.
"FG01 signifies a fresh look for the Fords, the best way to describe it is that it's much more aggressive, I think everyone will be really pleased," said FPR Team Principle Tim Edwards.
"It's been an 18 month project since we started design at the beginning of 2007, and last week we were still putting the pieces together, so it's a rewarding feeling for everyone to see it turn its first wheels.
"FPR has invested a lot of time and intellectual property into the car for the benefit of all Ford teams.
"This is absolutely a new toy for the Ford teams, everyone should be excited about seeing it and we hope they're pleased with what we've achieved."
As the official Ford homologation team, Triple 8 has been involved in the development of FG01 and they are responsible for technical compliance of the vehicle within the TEGA 'Blueprint specification'.
Additionally T8 contributed its aerodynamic expertise, designing and supplying components for testing.
Stone Brothers Racing (SBR) assisted with various technical elements of design and integration. Additional Ford teams have monitored the development of FG01 since its inception.
Ford continues to work through technical details and is poised for a mid-season homologation.
The exercise will ensure the car can legitimately race in the latter part of this year's V8 Supercar series, however Price and teams maintain that the priority remains to win the 2008 Championship with the existing crop of Falcons.
"We're already strong contenders in the V8 Supercar series – we're currently leading the 2008 manufacturer's Championship after four rounds."
"We have a number of highly competitive teams and drivers, and our current cars are fast.
"Our focus is to continue winning races, all the while preparing our new weapon.
"A mid-season homologation will ensure Ford teams are awarded the maximum amount of preparation time for when we're ready to bring the FG to the track to race."
The FG V8 Supercar and Ford's traditional line-up of Falcon's will hit the track this weekend at the Midas 400, Sandown Raceway June 7-9. Tickets available through Ticketmaster or at the gate, further information at www.sandown400.com.
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