The culmination of more than a year of development, Ford today unveiled the all-new 2019 Mustang fuel Funny Car body that Motorcraft/Quick Lane-backed racer Bob Tasca III and Tim Wilkerson will campaign on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series.
Ford announced at the SEMA Show in 2017 its intention to return to NHRA Funny Car racing in 2018, with further plans to design and produce a new body for the 2019 campaign. Fourteen months later that promise has come to fruition, as Tasca and his team will debut the new body at the upcoming pre-season test session in Phoenix, Arizona before its public coming-out at the NHRA Winternationals in Pomona next month.
The body, the second in the last year to debut in the Funny Car class (Dodge launched its new Hellcat Charger on Matt Hagan’s entry last season), will be a key piece in Tasca III’s championship hopes this season as crew chief’s Eric Lane and Mike Green work to propel the Rhode Island racer into the Countdown to the Championship.
“I’ve never been more confident heading into a new season,” said Tasca. “Ford Performance has stepped it up big time with the new Mustang Funny Car body, and it will make our team even stronger in 2019. The level of competition in this class is incredible, but with the support of Ford, and perfect execution from my team, you’ll see us
The new Mustang body, Ford’s first in more than a decade, was constructed direct from a scale-model prototype — a first of its kind from Ford, which it says has cost-saving implications from its racing endeavors right down to its road-going production vehicles.
When you’re discussing the realm of speeds exceeding 300 miles per hour, tolerances in aerodynamics become minuscule. Even the slightest change can have a massive effect. – Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports
“When our new Mustang Funny Car hits the track in 2019, we fully expect it to validate the motorsport development tools we’ve worked hard to create and refine,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “When you’re discussing the realm of speeds exceeding 300 miles per hour, tolerances in aerodynamics become minuscule. Even the slightest change can have a massive effect. Working in such a focused space allows us to gain insight to aerodynamic improvements for both our racing and road cars.
“We have the utmost faith in our computational fluid dynamics software and its ability to overcome such small margins for error, which allowed us to create this new racecar without the need for full-scale prototypes.”
Tim Wilkerson, a veteran of the Funny Car category who has been campaigning Ford Mustang bodies exclusively on his Levi, Ray & Shoup Inc. flopper since 2009, will also utilize the new 2019 Mustang this season.
“I’m proud to be part of the new Ford Performance program, beginning in 2019,” said Wilkerson. “We’ve been running a Ford body since 2009 and have earned 10 of our 20 wins with the Mustang – so I’m really excited about getting a chance to be more closely involved with Ford again and run the latest and greatest Mustang body. Our involvement with Ford Performance and the input of their engineers will allow us to have support similar to what a multi-car team has. That will definitely be an asset to our race program.”