Matt Stone Racing has taken a turn for the worse at Ford, confirming it will remain on the General Motors side of the divide as Supercars enter the Gen3 era next year.
The Yatala team’s eponymous team principal is the son of Jimmy Stone, who was in charge of the Stone Brothers Racing outfit that won three consecutive Supercars championships in the 2000s with the Blue Oval.
MSR announced last year that it was considering a return to Ford, debuting in the main game in 2018.
When Walkinshaw Andretti United’s departure to Ford was confirmed last week, questions arose again as to whether MSR would follow suit.
That was soon put to bed, however, with Speedcafe.com breaking the news that there would be no more teams fielding Mustangs next season.
That came complete with the statement that Ford is about ‘quality over quantity’ and that ‘we are here to win, not make up the numbers’.
Speaking about MSR’s future, Matt Stone said his organization isn’t there to be there either, while he reserved a clip for Ford to explain why General Motors was his preferred option.
“There were many factors to weigh up, just like any major decision in any business,” Stone said.
“MSR is not in Supercars to just make up the numbers, as we have shown with our continuous improvement and results.
“We are here to win, and the quality of our key partnerships is key to achieving that goal.
“As a race team, of course, the overall performance of the car was at the top of our list and we have no doubt that the Chevy Racing Camaro will be an excellent package to help us win races.
“We are also impressed with the leadership and support at Triple Eight, which is something Ford does not offer.”
MSR is currently a Triple Eight customer base and has risen in the pecking order this year to take seventh place in the teams championship – ahead of both Team 18 and Brad Jones Racing.
Jack Le Brocq put the Truck Assist-backed team on the front row of the grid at Symmons Plains, while teammate Todd Hazelwood floats around the edge of the championship’s top 10.
Chevrolet Racing general manager Chris Payne welcomed MSR’s renewed commitment to three Gen3 Camaros.
“We are delighted to have Matt Stone Racing on board with the Chevrolet Racing Camaro for Gen3,” said Payne.
“Matt and the MSR team have shown a great commitment to the GM product at all levels of the competition and we are excited to work with them as we enter this next exciting era.”
Stone confirmed that they will also be deploying GM cars in Super2 and Super3 in the future, representing up to seven entries across the three levels of Supercars.
“Our factory has three different racing divisions, Supercars, Supports and Special Projects,” he said.
“All of these three areas are currently being scaled up and it is critical that we have the best possible partners in each area.
“For us, knowing what we have planned for the future, GM and Chevy Racing were the clear choice for us.
“When we joined Supercars a little over four years ago we had about 10 employees, now we have 35. Business is going well and the team is constantly improving.
“The hardest part of this decision was knowing that we have a lot of fans who wanted to see the Stone family back racing with Ford.
“We’ve been talking to both GM and Ford about this decision for over a year and we thank them both for the time and effort that went into those discussions, but in the end it was clear to us that the GM and Chevrolet Racing team was more attuned to our goals and us on their goals, which is the key to any relationship.
“Chris Payne, Steve Byrne and the GM Design and Racing Division team in the US are doing a great job with Gen3 and have some very exciting plans for the future.
“We look forward to supporting the guys from GMSV and Chevrolet Racing in any way we can. GM has always been an important part of racing in Australia, and we want it to continue and thrive in the future.”
All 11 teams currently competing in Supercars are now officially committed to one brand or the other for 2023, with five on the Ford side and six on Chevrolet.
Hazelwood and Le Brocq are both under contract with MSR until the end of next season.
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