V8s crunching numbers after marathon aero test
V8 Supercars is expected to confirm final specifications for its latest contenders next week following a recent seven-day aerodynamic test.
The new Ford Falcon FG X joined an upgraded Nissan Altima and Holden Commodore VF for the running at the East Sale RAAF base, where they were tested against the category’s baseline Ford Falcon FG.
V8 Supercars’ technical team and personnel from Prodrive Racing, Nissan Motorsport and Walkinshaw Racing/Triple Eight ran through open-air downforce and drag evaluations under the category’s recently revised procedures.
The three teams, which are prohibited by V8 Supercars from commenting on the testing, are understood to have agreed in-principle that parity was eventually reached, with final confirmation to come next week.
“The test was concluded and the V8 Supercars technical team is now working through the information gathered over the course of this week with a view to determining final parity,” a V8 Supercars spokesman told Speedcafe.com.
While windy conditions provided challenges, the test is believed to have run to its full seven-day allowance due to difficulties in getting the Falcon FG X up to the required downforce figures.
The FG X is said to have initially fallen well short of the baseline FG, ensuring significant changes to the new model were needed throughout the week in order to reach an acceptable level of parity.
Although Prodrive had made positive noises about its package following private evaluation against its own FG, the FG used as the benchmark for the homologation testing is the first Car of the Future prototype built by V8 Supercars, which has never been raced.
The prototype’s performance relative to the actual FG race cars has been a significant point of contention since it first ran at the 2013 pre-season homologations, which resulted in the previous-specification FG being given a rear downforce reduction.
The work undertaken on the FG X at East Sale is therefore expected to yield an improvement for the Ford runners, whose drivers repeatedly complained of rear-end stability issues over the last two seasons.
Mark Winterbottom, David Reynolds and Cameron Waters all shared the FG X across the test, while Dunlop Series driver Todd Hazelwood was aboard the FG.
Holden and Nissan both brought lower-drag versions of their existing cars to the test and are understood to have had few problems reaching the targets required.
Nick Percat was in charge of the Holden while Nissan Motorsport owner/driver Todd Kelly steered the Altima.
With V8 Supercars having made the latest testing voluntary, the Mercedes-Benz E63 and Volvo S60 were both absent.
The two cars were homologated against the baseline FG ahead of the 2013 and 2014 seasons respectively.