Mercedes work may halt SBR COTF track running
Stone Brothers Racing may elect to park its Ford Falcon-bodied Car of the Future after just a single shakedown as it races against the clock to have its Mercedes-Benz AMGs on track for the 2013 season opener.
The team’s first COTF was shaken down at yesterday’s Queensland Raceway international co-driver test held ahead of this weekend’s Armor All Gold Coast 600.
Lee Holdsworth took to the wheel to undertake the stipulated 20 laps of shakedown running, while team-mate Tim Slade logged approximately 40 further laps in the afternoon gathering gearbox cooling data on behalf of V8 Supercars.
Although SBR does not expect to have its first Mercedes-Benz AMG V8 Supercar on track until late January or early February, the team has yet to decide whether the initial car will ever return to the track in its Ford configuration.
“The more time we put into running this chassis the less resources we have to finish the other cars in the E63 guise,” team manager Dave Stuart explained to Speedcafe.com.
“There’s obviously a lot of work to do on the new cars, it’s an ambitious project to get finished for next year. Clearly we have to do aero parity tests and the like before we go racing next year, so there isn’t a lot of time.
“We’ll just wait and see how our resources are shaping up. If we need to we may not run anymore, but we have pencilled in our first ACM (Accredited Manufacturer) day for mid-November.”
Stuart confirmed that the completed Ford will be converted into a Mercedes in time for the 2013 season.
Based off of its M159 unit seen in the company’s SLS GT3 cars, the Mercedes V8 Supercar engine is being crafted by AMG Customer Sports in Germany, while the development of the bodywork is simultaneously taking place inside SBR’s Yatala, Queensland, workshop.
Despite the upcoming change of manufacturer, Stuart says that the team learned some valuable lessons at yesterday’s shakedown that’ll apply to any of the new COTF vehicles.
“The day was all about ironing out a few little bugs and doing some systems checks on the new package,” said Stuart of the shakedown.
“We spread the running of the car throughout the whole day, and part of that was due to changing a few things with the brakes to make the drivers a bit more comfortable.
“Obviously we’ve gone to a bigger brake package in the front and have gone from Alcon to AP, so it was a good opportunity to get a bit of a heads up on that.
“Also for us, while it’s a Motec control electronics package, our current FGs are wired quite differently and use a lot of different components so we’re still getting an understanding of how these cars are configured.”
Yesterday saw SBR become the fourth team to track test one of its own cars built to the 2013 regulations, following Triple Eight, Ford Performance Racing and the Holden Racing Team.
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Armor All Gold Coast 600 Race Guide