MSR hits back at Ford, confirms Chevrolet future

A Truck Assist Chevrolet Camaro. Render: Nick Moss Design

Matt Stone Racing has taken a swing at Ford while confirming it will remain on the General Motors side of the divide when Supercars move into the Gen3 era next year.

The Yatala squad’s eponymous team boss is the son of Jimmy Stone, who co-ran the Stone Brothers Racing outfit which won three straight Supercars championships with the Blue Oval in the 2000s.

MSR made it known last year that it was weighing up a return to Ford, with which it debuted in the main game in 2018.

When Walkinshaw Andretti United’s defection to Ford was confirmed last week, questions sparked up again regarding whether MSR would follow suit.

However, that was quickly put to bed, with breaking the news that there would be no further teams fielding Mustangs next season.

That came complete with a jab that Ford is “about quality over quantity” and that “we’re here to win, not to make up the numbers”.

Speaking about MSR’s future, Matt Stone made a point of saying that his organization too is not here to be also rans, while reserving a clip for Ford in explaining why General Motors was its preferred option.

“There were many factors that had to be weighed up just like any major decision in any business,” said Stone.

“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.

“Being a race team, the overall performance of the car was of course at the top of our list, and we have no doubt that the Chevy Racing Camaro will be an excellent package that we can win races with.

“We are also impressed with the leadership and support at Triple Eight, which is something Ford doesn’t offer.”

MSR is currently a Triple Eight customer outfit, and has risen up the pecking order this year to hold seventh in the teams’ championship – ahead of both Team 18 and Brad Jones Racing.

Jack Le Brocq put the Truck Assist-backed squad on the front row of the grid at Symmons Plains, while team-mate Todd Hazelwood is hovering around the edge of the championship’s top 10.

Next year will be Matt Stone Racing’s sixth in the Supercars Championship. Render: Nick Moss Design

Chevrolet Racing general manager Chris Payne welcomed MSR’s renewed commitment, which has seen them order three Gen3 Camaros.

“We’re excited that Matt Stone Racing is onboard 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’re enthused to be working with them as we enter this next exciting era.”

Stone confirmed that they will also be fielding GM cars in Super2 and Super3 going forward, making for up to seven entries across the three tiers of Supercars.

“Our factory operates three different racing divisions, supercars, supports and special projects,” he said.

“All three of these areas are scaling up currently and it’s critical that we have the best possible partners in every area.

“For us knowing what we have planned for the future, GM and Chevy Racing were the clear choice for us.

“When we entered Supercars just over four years ago, we had around 10 employees, now we have 35. Things are building nicely, and the team is improving all the time.

“The most difficult part of this decision was knowing that we have a lot of fans that wanted to see the Stone family back racing with Ford.

“We did speak with 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 team at GM and Chevrolet Racing were more aligned with our goals and us with their goals, which is key to any relationship.

“Chris Payne, Steve Byrne, and the team at GM Design and Racing Division 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 at GMSV and Chevrolet Racing in any way we can. GM has always been a big part of racing in Australia, and we want to see that continue and flourish into the future.”

All 11 teams currently competing in Supercars are now officially committed one marque or the other for 2023, with five on the Ford side and six with Chevrolet.

Hazelwood and Le Brocq are both under contract at MSR until the end of next season.

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