Aero testing to begin after positive ZB shakedown

The all-new Holden ZB Commodore

Work to ensure the new ZB Commodore Supercar hits its required aerodynamic targets will ramp up next week following a successful shakedown at Norwell Motorplex.

Holden’s latest Supercar completed its first track running on Thursday, which marked the start of a prolonged period of track running to prepare the race car for its 2018 season debut.

Triple Eight, on behalf of Holden, has carried out the design and build of the ZB Commodore over the last 10 months, with the car now set for its first fully fledged track test at Queensland Raceway on Thursday.

The run will be one of three Accredited Manufacturer Test days issued to the team ahead of the car’s homologation test in December.

The squad will also conduct a straightline test on Sunday and Monday.

While the 60km shakedown ran without a hitch, team manager Mark Dutton says there is plenty of work ahead over the coming weeks to ensure its aerodynamic numbers match the current Ford Falcon FGX and Nissan Altima models.

Jamie Whincup’s engineer David Cauchi has played a key role in the development of the ZB Commodore alongside the team’s former Mercedes AMG engineer Florian Höfflin.

“It (the shakedown) went really smoothly, it was not a long way (in distance) but so far so good,” Dutton told Speedcafe.com.

“Usually when you are working on new models you don’t have them on track in September. It has been a huge task by everyone at Triple Eight.

“We are really proud of that but we don’t know if any of it works yet as far as aerodynamic efficiency goes, but it looked really cool on track for the first run.

“There will be some pretty hardcore work to clarify everything (on the aerodynamic front).

“Ludo (Lacroix) in the past did our aero tests, David Cauchi has now stepped up to do that and we have got Florian (Höfflin), who is new for this year, working on the aero stuff.

“They have done a cracker job and we have to make sure that all the numbers are lining up with with what we think.”

Next Thursday’s run will likely see Shane van Gisbergen undertake his first outing in the car after Whincup completed the shakedown.

The reigning Supercars champion has been impressed by the ZB Commodore’s distinctive hatchback styling and large rear wing.

“The car looks fantastic in its livery and the new aero kit is pretty special. I’m looking forward to feeling how it goes,” said van Gisbergen.

“It’s a smaller car, but it still manages to look tough and aggressive.

“I think the big wing hanging off the back to make it get to the length makes it look super-tough. Big endplates, it looks pretty cool.

“Now we’ll start doing the aero testing, get a balance and see what we need and try a few things as well. But as a base it’s a great way to start.”

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