V8 Supercars tight-lipped on COTF test plans
V8 Supercars has yet to confirm the fate of the first Car of the Future group test, scheduled to take place at Queensland Raceway on August 6.
Although a decision to abandon the date was expected to be made at yesterday’s V8 Supercars Commission meeting held at the Hidden Valley Circuit, V8 Supercars CEO David Malone told Speedcafe.com after the meeting that there were still “details to sort through” before an official comment could be made on the matter.
The push to cancel the Queensland test has come following a series of delays in completing the technical regulations for the 2013 cars.
Hold-ups in both the finalisation of the rule package and the arrival of control components has seen the majority of teams switch attention to their second COTF chassis while their first cars sit incomplete.
The fuel systems and brake package remain two of the key unknowns, with the new centrally-mounted fuel cells not expected to arrive in Australia until the week prior to the Queensland Raceway test date at the earliest.
In addition, further on-track brake evaluation running has been deemed necessary after an initial test earlier this month was dogged by non-brake related mechanical failures on the prototype cars.
The lack of information currently available on the size of the brake discs and calipers has forced teams to delay the design of several ancillary front-end components such as brake hats and ducting.
While teams have recently been given confirmation that the rear suspension uprights will not undergo a rumoured redesign, other areas believed to remain in need of a final sign-off include elements of the driveline, the Engine Control Unit software and the aerodynamic packages.
The prototypes cars have this week undergone an initial two-day aero test at the Royal Australian Air Force base in the Gippsland region of Victoria, with Dunlop Series driver Chaz Mostert and Formula Ford front-runner Jack Le Brocq steering the Ford FG and Holden VE respectively.
Further testing will need to be undertaken using Holden’s yet-to-be publically revealed VF Commodore body panels, while Kelly Racing’s first Nissan Altima is not expected to be track-ready until September.
Meanwhile, the possibility of replacing the Queensland Raceway group test with a day of running immediately following the August 25-26 event at Sydney Motorsport Park is currently being floated. Whether or not that goes ahead could depend on the willingness of several teams to give up a ride-day planned at the circuit on the Monday.
The 2012 V8 Supercars Championship continues this weekend with the Skycity Triple Crown at Hidden Valley.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Skycity Triple Crown Race Guide