V8 Supercars’ Car of the Future had its first run at Mount Panorama today with Lee Holdsworth undertaking evaluation laps in the category’s own Ford Falcon prototype car.
The IRWIN Racing pilot drove the car in three practice sessions – two with the Dunlop Series (morning and afternoon) and one alongside the V8 Supercars Championship co-drivers.
Dunlop and V8 Supercars conducted the testing to gather more information on the performance and durability of the new 18-inch tyres.
V8 Supercars also used the opportunity to trial a number of other components in the prototype, including another potential solution to the gearbox cooling issues that have troubled the category and its teams during testing to date.
Holdsworth completed over 30 laps of the famous mountain circuit, culminating in a 17-lap stint during the afternoon.
V8 Supercars would not reveal any official times, but Speedcafe.com understands the car’s best time was in the 2m09s bracket, having comfortably run in the 2m10-2m12s range for the bulk of its mileage.
Holdsworth, who also undertook brake testing in the COTF earlier this year at Queensland Raceway, said he was happy with the feeling from the car throughout the running.
“It wasn’t about lap times out there, it was about banging around, seeing what the lap times do over a distance, see if there’s any delamination,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“They were quite consistent. I felt quite a big gain on the green, and then they lose a couple of tenths and plateau in a stint, so they’re no bad thing.”
Dunlop’s motorsport manager Kevin Fitzsimons said that the laps provided further validation that the already selected construction and compounds were the correct options.
“We’re very happy with the way it is,” Fitzsimons told Speedcafe.com.
“We haven’t had a good chance to look at it all yet, but we’ve got plenty of data to go back to Japan with so I’m happy.
“Now we just wait for the commission to make the decision on what they’re going to do for quantities of each compound.
“We wanted to see if the tyre had the durability to do 20 or 30 lap runs, so we can come here and know we have some experience on the tyre. The track is so unique. It was important to have some information.”
“I believe this is the end of Dunlop’s testing for the Car of the Future. We’ll just wait and see what the Commission makes of the information we’ve been able to give them and see where it takes us.”
V8 Supercars will now turn its attention towards aerodynamic testing between the Ford Falcon FG, Holden Commodore VF and Nissan Altima, which could get underway as early as this month.