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Ford Falcon: a racing history

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.


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