Teams not concerned by Triple Eight’s COTF head start
Triple Eight’s rivals insist they’re not concerned by the Queensland based Holden squad getting a month long head start to its Car of the Future track testing program.
The team’s first 2013-specification car will undertake its maiden test at Queensland Raceway today after completing an initial shakedown at Norwell last week.
Triple Eight has put its car on track using not-to-be-raced fuel system, driveline and brake components in the absence of the relevant control parts, while the remaining seven accredited COTF builders have elected to wait for the final pieces to be supplied before readying their machines for testing.
Based on expectations that all components will not be ready until the end of the month, FPR, Stone Brothers Racing, the Holden Racing Team and Garry Rogers Motorsport are all expected to hit the track for the first time in early September.
“We are all keen to get the cars out there but until all the parts and specs have been finalised I don’t see the point,” Ford Performance Racing team principal Tim Edwards told Speedcafe.com of the idea of rushing its first car on track this month.
“Really it (when we begin testing) is controlled by when we get the last remaining control parts which is the end of August. That’s when we expected to get the front calipers and the fuel tank. The rest of our build program is targeted for that as well.”
Under the revised COTF testing regulations, each accredited builder will be allowed to complete two single-car test days (referred to as ‘manufacturer days’) before kicking off their full 10 day test log, which will need to last until the end of 2013. As has been the case in previous seasons, teams can also complete a 20 lap shakedown for each new chassis built.
One of each teams’ two manufacturer days is allowed to be completed at a circuit other than their designated test venue.
The freedom is expected to see Ford Performance Racing joined by as many as six other squads at a test it has booked at Sydney Motorsport Park on October 15.
Like FPR, SBR is expected to use the October date as its second ‘manufacturer’ test. The three-time championship winning team is planning on rolling out the first of its initial batch of four chassis at Queensland Raceway on September 6.
“The other three chassis are all at different stages and are a few weeks apart but we are not rushing it with our first car,” team co-owner Ross Stone told Speedcafe.com of his plans.
HRT operations manager Mike Henry confirmed that his squad is too waiting for the control parts, but emphasised his keenness to begin testing as soon as they arrive.
“The real race is at Clipsal next year so the race to get something out is something that I think is a personal preference for every organisation up and down the paddock,” he told Speedcafe.com of the varied maiden test dates.
“How we get to Clipsal is no big issue, but we all need to do the testing and we need to be allowed to go back and adjust, rebuild or advance some designs of bits and pieces.
“What we have in front of us is a big project that is starting with a blank piece of paper.”
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s insight into how each team is building its COTF vehicles