Ford Falcon: a racing
Among the great rivalries in motorsport,
few have been as hotly contested for so long as that between Ford
and arch-rivals Holden, the leading manufacturers in V8 Supercars,
Australia’s premier touring car championship.
Moving into another season, the
rivalry shows no sign of letting up, with Ford taking up their
best-selling Ford Falcon. a car with a history dating back even
further than the championship itself.
The first Falcon, the XK sedan,
was brought out in 1960. It was followed in succession by the
XL, the XM, and XP. Then came the XR, the XT, the XW, and the
XY. The sleek sedans, which have always been manufactured in Australia,
immediately became a firm favourite with the public. This popularity
remained through the seventies and eighties, as Ford continued
to fight it out with Holden for the affections of Australian motorists.
The commercial rivalry was begging
to transfer itself to a racing platform as well, and in 1997,
V8 Supercars duly came along and obliged. From the very start
the circuit has attracted crowds in the hundreds of thousands,
becoming one of the world’s leading sedan car championships.
The Falcon, always big-engined
and built along stylish racing lines, was Ford’s natural contender.
In response, Holden put up the Commodore, and it was no surprise
that over the next 15 years, these two swallowed up over 90 per
cent of the total race wins between them.
At the moment, it is Holden that
is slightly ahead on total wins, with 217 to Ford’s 167. Aiming
to rectify that is the 2013 Falcon, featuring a souped-up 5 litre
version of the four-cylinder eco-boost engine first introduced
to the mass-production car last year.
It will be fascinating to see
how the new Falcon supercar fares at classic events like the Bathurst
500, the Sydney Telstra, and the Clipsal 500. With so much desire
to win, 2013 should be another great year as this famous Australian
car moves on into its second half-century.