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POLL: Ramifications of Supercars parity debate

Tom Howard

Monday 9th September, 2019 - 3:19pm

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The ongoing parity debate has dominated the Supercars season

Parity will go down as the buzzword this season with the debate refusing to go away courtesy of the latest round of changes made to the Holden Commodores.

The issue around parity has raged this season courtesy of the dominant showing from the new Ford Mustang, although its origins can be traced to the start of 2018 following the launch of the ZB Commodore, which featured an increased use of composite panels.

Supercars is a parity formula and its regulations, namely Rule A1.4.5, which state: “To the extent that it is possible, Supercars will use its best endeavours to ensure a level playing field for all competing makes and models of Car, specifically in the following performance areas: Total Aerodynamic Downforce, Aerodynamic Downforce Balance, Aerodynamic Drag, Engine Power and Fuel Consumption.”

Last week the championship administered its sixth in-season parity adjustment following a request for changes made by Holden homologation team Triple Eight.

However, this latest tweak to the Holdens appears to have caused particular unrest in the paddock while again igniting the debate among fans.

It is the second time this season the Holden Commodore has undergone an aero change after adjustments to the undertray and rear wing angle were revealed prior to the BetEasy Darwin Triple Crown.

It follows Supercars mandating an aero change on the blue oval’s new weapon in May that saw the car’s rear wing endplates reduced in size, its front undertray shortened and its rear wing gurney flap lowered.

Aero changes were also implemented on the Nissan Altimas ahead of last month’s OTR SuperSprint.

Meanwhile, the series has twice made centre of gravity changes on the Holden, Ford and Nissan models, the first administered in April, with the latest configuration introduced in July.

Sources from rival teams have told this website that the latest aero changes were not put to the Supercars Commission as has been the situation in previous cases this year.

Instead the Supercars technical department ratified the tweaks acting on behalf of the Supercars Commission.

In the days following the announcement two long-time members of the commission resigned from their positions, as revealed by Speedcafe.com.

While the departures of Kelly Racing team owner Todd Kelly and respected Supercars commentator Neil Crompton are understood to be not directly linked to the recent Holden changes, the parity arguments have seemingly played a part in the commission break-up.

It also leaves the select body, charged to help form rules and future regulations, without two highly experienced members during a critical period for the series as it navigates through important cost saving measures for next year and its next big regulation shift.

The constant parity adjustments have proved equally as frustrating for fans, leaving many perplexed and angry by the moving of the goalposts from round to round.

Likewise it surely will also have a negative effect on prospective manufacturers looking to join the series in the future.

A possible solution that could put an end to the debate is for the Holden, Ford and Nissan models to be re-homologated using a more technically advanced process at the end of the season.

It would hopefully address any technical discrepancies and avoid the need for numerous further changes.

One thing that is for certain a solution to the parity debate is required soon before it becomes too late.

What do you think? Has the quest for parity caused too much damage to the category?

Cast your vote in this week’s Pirtek Poll below.

Pirtek Poll

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