Ford smashed the lap record at Bathurst with a 1:56.3247, not in a Mustang, but an EV

    This weekend was the first round of the 2024 Supercars season and in a complete change to the calendar, they started off at Bathurst, for a 500km sprint race over 2 days.

    While Supercars were meant to be the main event, they were overshadowed by a car that smashed the lap record at the mountain (for a closed cabin).

    The best lap ever completed on the mountain by a V8 Supercar, was by Chaz Mostert, a 2 minute 4-second time back in October 2019.

    The best-closed cabin lap time was completed in November 2018 in an Audi R8 LMS GT3 car which completed the 6.23km circuit in just 1 minute 59 seconds.. at least that was the case until this weekend.

    Ford’s crazy demonstration SuperVan 4.2 completed the lap of the famous Mount Panorama with a time of just 1 minute, 56 seconds, smashing the record. What’s even more impressive is that this is done in an electric vehicle, showcasing and confirming to the world that the future of motorsport, is most definitely electric.

    The only faster vehicle to take on the mountain was an unofficial 1 minute 48 seconds in his McLaren MP4-23 Formula 1 car back in 2011.

    Supercars fans at Bathurst watched on as the Van, completed the track in 08.4355 seconds faster than the V8 Supercar pole time this past weekend. 

    For more perspective on how crazy this is, Ford’s SuperVan 4.2, developed by Ford Performance, crossed the line almost three-tenths of a second faster than an unrestricted V8-powered GT3 car.

    I think it’s safe to say that Ford’s goal in building the vehicle, to change conceptions of what an EV is capable of, was absolutely accomplished at Bathurst.

    With the knowledge of how to build a race-going EV, Ford really should build on this success and offer a commercially available EV that could be purchased by race teams and launch a new EV series in Australia and across the world.

    As we’ve discussed in the past, charging infrastructure at Australia’s race tracks needs serious investment to power the next generation of racing.

    For two weeks the SuperVan team didn’t stop working on making this electric van as fast as possible.

    The global Ford Performance network was activated to ensure SuperVan 4.2 was as capable as possible. Almost immediately Mount Panorama challenged both car and team, but we were able to implement a number of key changes that improved our capabilities and brought the lap times down every session.

    Sriram Pakkam, Manager, Formula 1 and EV Demonstrators, Ford Performance. 

    This is now the second time Romain Dumas has re-written the history books with SuperVan 4.2, following his record-smashing run at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb in the USA last year. 

    This is the first time I have driven SuperVan 4.2 faster than 300km/h, and we left nothing on the table as we pushed for the fastest lap possible. No one has ever driven a vehicle like SuperVan 4.2 around Mount Panorama, and certainly not this quickly!

    French Motorsport Racing Driver, Romain Dumas
    2024 Thrifty Bathurst 500, Event 01 of the Repco Supercars Championship, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. 22 Feb, 2024.

    The team’s work is being put to the test at tracks around the world, including the famous Pikes Peak. But in the end, Ford will be putting the technology and innovation to work in vehicles you can buy straight from a dealership, like the all-electric Mustang Mach-E.

    The effort and expertise it took to reset the benchmark lap time for a closed-wheel vehicle around Mount Panorama cannot be understated.  Romain Dumas worked alongside our team to innovate, learn, adapt, and the result is a time that exceeded our own expectations.

    There is a reason why we chose to bring SuperVan 4.2 to Mount Panorama after Pikes Peak – there is nowhere quite like it in the world.

    Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports.

    After two weeks of running at Mount Panorama, fans have been able to see what electric performance truly means, and glimpse into an electrified future of motorsport. 

    2024 Thrifty Bathurst 500, Event 01 of the Repco Supercars Championship, Mount Panorama, Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia. 22 Feb, 2024.

    SuperVan 4.2 really has to be seen to be believed, and we are thrilled that Aussie race fans have been able to witness its history making runs around Mount Panorama.

    Lessons learned from SuperVan’s running in Australia will have a direct flow into Ford’s next generation of electric road cars. That means future products that Aussies drive on our roads will have a little spirit of Mount Panorama carried within them.

    Andrew Birkic, President and CEO, Ford Australia. 

    The SuperVan 4.2 project is a product of Ford’s work in motorsport, which aims to develop and innovate technologies under some of the most challenging conditions, with the possibility of eventually passing them on to road cars.

    A global program, the SuperVan 4.2 arrived in Australia earlier this month. After hitting the tracks at Bathurst, the demonstrator will also participate in the Adelaide Motorsport Festival and the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix to continue its quest to prove that EVs can deliver performance, capability and drivability.   

    The work of developing EV technologies through projects such as SuperVan 4.2 is in tandem with this as well as Ford’s global commitment to EVs, with half of its global vehicle sales volume expected to be electric by 2030 (source – Ford Motor Company 2023 Integrated Sustainability And Financial Report).

    Ford recently began delivering their first consumer electric vehicle, the Ford Mustang Mach-E in Australia.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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