As stated in earlier post the s/c ellipse is inclined at about 19 deg w.r.t equator. Ecliptic makes an angle of 23 deg with equator so effectively the orbit is about 23+19=42 deg w.r.t. ecliptic which approx corresponds to the 150 deg inclination of the probe at Mars. So the s/c has to travel in that plane which is oblique to ecliptic when released from Earth's gravitational force.
Left figure shows the same geometry when seen from a point above North pole. Observe that the sunlight on Earth is from the bottom left corner.
Numerical calculations show that the farthest point of ellipse ( apogee ) is directed towards Sun so that when released from this orbit it will be influenced by Solar gravity and will be pulled towards it. But care will be taken to see that the s/c is released in such a direction that it becomes a Man made 'planet' orbiting Sun. In due course it will come near the Mars and then again a correction will be carried out so that it gets deflected towards Mars and gets into its field as shown in next sketch.
BTW here is reference to Solar system positions on Dec1 and on 21Sept2014.