With the 2022 season deadlines fast approaching, Matt Stone Racing will be making a decision surrounding their choice of manufacturer for the new Gen 3 chassis by the end of this financial year.
The team are currently in talks with both Ford and GM, as they weigh up their options with both brands.
“We are currently evaluating all aspects of both brands. Our team has won the Super2 Championship for General Motors in 2017 with Todd Hazelwood and the Ute Championship before that in a Ford with Ryal Harris. So, the history of MSR has seen Championship success with both brands. Then of course my father Jimmy and uncle Ross in the SBR days had a long history and a lot of success with Ford.” Said Team Owner Matt Stone
Having had great success under both manufacturers previously, it is important that all aspects of commercials, performance, and brand alignment with team partners, are heavily considered. The current Triple Eight customer team arrangement is another of MSR’s considerations as to whether they stay with GM or move to Ford.
“We have built up a two-car team in Supercars over the past three years with General Motors and whilst we are fairly happy with our overall progress, we need to see what that will look like under the new Gen3 cars.
“There is a still a lot of information to gather before we can make a decision. We have learnt a lot over the past 10 years, and we will be applying all those learnings as we make this decision too.”
Being a youth focused team who look to help shape the future of the next generation up to this point, Matt Stone Racing’s overarching goal is to provide the highest quality pathway for young drivers ready to enter the category. With several Holden teams already supporting new talent, MSR could bring at least two new up and coming stars of the future to Ford depending on how many cars the team runs in 2022.
“Yeah, we are very proud of our history and support of drivers that we believe in. Whether that’s experienced front runners like Ambrose and Ingall back in the SBR days or supporting new talent like we are now with Zane Goddard and Jake Kostecki in Supercars, and Aaron Seton in Super2. It was SBR that brought in Shane Van Gisbergen and Scott McLaughlin and they’ve turned out ok.”
Since expressing interest and putting their name down for another REC, an expansion is also on the team’s mind as they further evaluate each manufacturer ahead of the impending decision deadline. It’s unknown what MSR plans to do with a third Supercar.
This could see the reintroduction of the SuperLite program, or the addition of an already established lead driver to the team. A three or even future four car programme at MSR could deliver a substantial boost to the number of young drivers on the grid, adding more of a variety of drivers and team partner brands. With 21-year-old Zane Goddard qualifying 4th ahead of both Red Bull drivers at the last round in Tasmania and delivering a solid race performance to finish in 7th, the team is showing enormous promise for the future. This could be very attractive to Ford with the strong fanbase of the Stone Brothers and the Seton’s sure to support a Stone/Seton comeback to the Ford brand. Alternatively, MSR could continue to strengthen their relationship with GM and potentially Triple Eight, providing a quality pathway for new talent.