The parity between Fords and Holdens in the Yokohama V8 Utes Series has come into question, and former full-time V8 Supercars driver Cameron McConville has been entrusted with finding the solution.
The Walkinshaw Racing endurance driver conducted a back-to-back test at Winton Raceway last Friday between a Ford BF and Holden VE V8 Ute in an attempt to improve the braking and steering in the Holden, which is said to be inferior to its Ford rival.
A revised suspension package was provided by Quadrant for the Winton test, with McConville set to conduct a further assessment this Friday at Eastern Creek.
“There’s been some interest within the V8 Ute organisation to have a closer look at the parity,” said McConville, who competed in the V8 Ute’s ’10 Years of Utes Legends’ race at Adelaide last month.
“I raced them at Adelaide. I only drove the Holden, but to be honest, I thought it was fairly ordinary to drive. I said at the time that they could be a lot better.
“Luke Youlden has been involved in parity testing before with them, and they thought it would be good to get a fresh idea on it and see what I think and where they can maybe change them a little bit.”
“There’s probably a little bit of work to be done, but the changes that we made Winton improved the ‘feel’ of the car, not so much the lap times. If I can continue to help them out down the track, I’ll do it.”
In November last year, McConville announced his retirement from full-time V8 racing, but that hasn’t kept him away from the sport.
In fact, he’s busier than ever.
McConville is the Driving Standards Advisor for the Formula Ford and Australian GT classes, a technical assistance for V8 Utes and has signed up with Walkinshaw Racing for the V8 Supercars endurance races.
While he is yet to be officially announced as a Holden Racing Team driver, Speedcafe.com.au expects McConville to suit up with Garth Tander in the #2 factory Commodore.
McConville will drive a WR-prepared Commodore in the Queensland Raceway co-driver sessions, and says that he’s enjoying his new role in the racing community, coupled with managing his JAXQuickfit Tyres franchise in Moorabbin, Victoria.
“It’s actually quite good, I might say, mixing it up a little bit,” he said.
“I’m involved now in three championships – helping out the Ute guys from a technical point of view, and then the DSA stuff for Formula Ford and Australian GT. That’s keeping me on my toes.
“I am enjoying it, and I’m looking forward to getting back into the V8 co-driver sessions and get back into V8 mode.
“Just driving something is good. I did the Minardi two-seater laps at Albert Park. I ended up doing 17 rides and 34 laps in the two-seater. When you add that up, a day in the Ute, the 12 Hour, I’ve been keeping my hand in, and I’m actually thinking about buying a go-kart this year just to try and stay sharp.
“I’ve still got the itchy feet, that’s for sure. I still want to be involved in motor racing, even though I stepped back full-time. Now, I’m busy working the JAX business, doing this behind the scenes stuff and to be honest, I’m really enjoying it. It’s a new challenge.”