SuperVan 4.2 fastest closed-wheel vehicle at Bathurst

History was made at Mount Panorama during the Thrifty Bathurst 500 event with the Ford Performance SuperVan 4.2 setting a trio of lap records, securing the benchmark time for the quickest closed-wheel vehicle, electric vehicle, and commercial vehicle to lap the 6.2-kilometre racetrack.

With Romain Dumas at the helm, SuperVan 4.2 lapped Mount Panorama in 1:56.3247, with a top speed in excess of 300km/h achieved on Mountain Straight and Conrod Straight. The lap time was set just after the Australian Supercars Top 10 Shootout, which finished with a pole time of 2:06.5465.

The new benchmark time from SuperVan 4.2 is a line in the sand, heralding a new era for electric vehicles, with the purpose-built demonstrator pushing the limits of EV performance during its time in Bathurst, beating an unrestricted GT3 car in the process.

“The effort and expertise it took to reset the benchmark lap time for a closed-wheel vehicle around Mount Panorama cannot be understated,” said Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports, Mark Rushbrook. “Romain Dumas worked alongside our team to innovate, learn, adapt, and the result is a time that exceeded our own expectations. There is a reason why we chose to bring SuperVan 4.2 to Mount Panorama after Pikes Peak – there is nowhere quite like it in the world.”

This is the second time Dumas re-wrote the history books with SuperVan 4.2, following his record-smashing run at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb last year.

“While both are impressive mountains in their own right, Mount Panorama and Pikes Peak couldn’t be more different in their challenges,” said Dumas.

“This is the first time I have driven SuperVan 4.2 faster than 300km/h, and we left nothing on the table as we pushed for the fastest lap possible. No one has ever driven a vehicle like SuperVan 4.2 around Mount Panorama, and certainly not this quickly.”

SuperVan 4.2 is not a traditional race car. Standing tall at roughly double the height of a GT3 race car, weighing almost 1800kg, and with not a drop of fuel in sight, nothing like it has ever tackled the legendary tarmac of Mount Panorama.

“For two weeks the SuperVan team didn’t stop working on making this electric van as fast as possible,” said Manager, Formula 1 and EV Demonstrators, Ford Performance, Sriram Pakkam.

“The global Ford Performance network was activated to ensure SuperVan 4.2 was as capable as possible. Almost immediately Mount Panorama challenged both car and team, but we were able to implement a number of key changes that improved our capabilities and brought the lap times down every session.”

President and CEO, Ford Australia, Andrew Birkic said the SuperVan 4.2’s performance at Bathurst gave fans a glimpse into electrified motorsport.

“SuperVan 4.2 really has to be seen to be believed, and we are thrilled that Aussie race fans have been able to witness its history making runs around Mount Panorama,” he said.

“Lessons learned from SuperVan’s running in Australia will have a direct flow into Ford’s next generation of electric road cars. That means future products that customers drive on our roads will have a little spirit of Mount Panorama carried within them.”

SuperVan 4.2 will now be transported to Ford’s Proving Ground in Victoria, before appearing at the Adelaide Motorsport Festival and Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix.

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