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Blue Oval V8 teams seeking Ford US funding

DJR Team Penske and Prodrive Racing Australia could be running Ford Mustangs in the V8 Supercars Championship in 2017.

The Ford teams in V8 Supercars racing are hoping a lifeline from the USA will keep them tied to the blue oval brand after the end of the Falcon.

It could even mean the return of the Mustang to frontline Australian motorsport.

Ford Australia is cutting all ties to motorsport as it prepares to close its factory at Broadmeadows in 2016, even taking back the Falcon road cars it traditionally loans to the Prodrive and DJR-Penske teams.

It ended an estimated $2 million-a-year support of Prodrive at the end of last year, which meant the Ford Performance Racing name disappeared from the V8 Supercars grid.

But Ford fans could still have something to cheer beyond the end of 2016, as Ford Performance in the USA is taking a growing interest in Australian touring car racing and the six Falcons that will hit the track - four from Prodrive and two from DJR-Penske - next year.

We're hoping to get some things happening

There are already moves to ensure that Ford's intellectual property rights, which means everything from the blue oval badge to the bodywork of the all-new Mustang, are available to V8 Supercars teams.

American billionaire motorsport legend Roger Penske has close ties to Ford through his NASCAR racing program and Prodrive is also tapping the connection in the hope that it will allow a Mustang program when the Gen2 regulations in V8 Supercars come into effect at the start of 2016.

"We are totally committed to Ford and would like to continue with the brand," Rod Nash, one of the Prodrive owners, reveals to News Corp Australia.

"There is definitely interest from the USA. We're hoping to get some things happening."

The man at the heart of the plan is Dave Pericak, the director of Ford Performance in the USA, who controls the blue oval budget in all its big programs including NASCAR and Le Mans sports car competition.

It is Pericak who has just signed transplanted Australian Ryan Briscoe, a one-time Toyota F1 test drive and regular long-distance co-driver with the Holden Racing Team in Australia, as one of its Ford GT drivers for a return to Le Mans in 2016.

"Mr Penske obviously has close connections with Dave Pericak. The NASCAR program with Joey Logano and Brad Keslowski is the biggest Ford involvement," says DJR-Penske's Ryan Story.

"It's true that there has been some talk about the situation in Australia. I believe there is some interest from Ford Performance.

It would make sense to go with the Mustang

"It's only natural that we should pursue the contacts that our American family has with Ford Performance in the USA."

Nash is more open and is even hopeful of getting Pericak to Australia for a first-hand look at V8 Supercars.

"We're looking to invite him for the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide at the start of next year," he says.

He is also keen to ensure that when it's time to replace Prodrive's existing fleet of Falcons, and there are currently four on the grid for Mark Winterbottom-Chaz Mostert-David Reynolds-Chris Pither, they are updated with something from the Ford family.

"If an opportunity existed to stay with Ford it would make sense to go with the Mustang," he says.