Aussie Racing Cars tests paddle shift gearbox

Tony Quinn tests the new paddle shift gearbox at Sydney Motorsport Park

Tony Quinn tests the new paddle shift gearbox at Sydney Motorsport Park pic: Digital Realism

Aussie Racing Cars is set to introduce a paddle shift gearbox to the category next year after testing commenced during the series’ most recent round at Sydney Motorsport Park

Category owner Tony Quinn hailed the technology as a means of increasing the accessibility of the series to new drivers while reducing maintenance costs.

The new gearbox was fitted to a car raced by Quinn, which has served as a development machine.

Aussie Racing Cars is not expected to introduce the component until mid-2017 at the earliest, with further testing planned for the remaining two rounds of this season and throughout next year.

The paddle shift gearbox will be offered to competitors alongside the existing stick shift.

The move to paddle shift would also necessitate the introduction of fuel injection, a departure from the carburettor system, which has been in place since the category’s inaugural season in 2001.

“If you’ve never driven one of these cars, because it’s got a motorbike gearbox in it, it’s actually quite difficult,” Quinn told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s not normal to drive because you have to blip on the way down with your foot and lift off on the way up, and people that jump in the cars for the first time feel a wee bit strange driving it.

“The other reason is for longevity in the gearbox. If you’re not used to driving them you tend to just smash the gears down and it wrecks the gearbox.

“It might cost a bit of money (in the short term) but it’ll save a bit of money (in the long term).”

The category also chose last weekend’s meeting to test Kumho tyres as the series entertains a switch from long-running control tyre supplier Yokohama.

The Aussie Racing Cars Championship concludes at Hampton Downs, New Zealand from October 28-30, before a non-points round supporting the ITM Auckland Super Sprint at Pukekohe from November 4-6.

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