Supercars boss hoping ‘talent over tech’ wins in 2020
Thursday 6th February, 2020 - 10:19am
Supercars boss Sean Seamer is hopeful significant changes to the technical regulations will put the emphasis back on drivers, not cars, this year.
The lion’s share of the 2019 season was plagued by technical parity discussions with a succession of aerodynamic changes and a centre of gravity adjustment.
Seamer believes it won’t the be same story in 2020 following two rounds of VCAT (Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing) among several changes to the make-up of the cars.
“We all really hope that we’re never in that position again,” Seamer said to selected media, including Speedcafe.com, of last year’s in-season parity changes.
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“We’ve done everything that we possibly can to eliminate or minimise any risk of that happening. But the ultimate arbiter is the race track.
“We’ll continue to monitor performance and monitor parity like we always do.”
The most significant changes to the regulations this year include the introduction of a control damper as well as aerodynamic adjustments to the Ford Mustang and Holden Commodore.
Changes have been made front and rear. Restrictions to the rear wing will reduce adjustability to a range of seven to 13 degrees. The maximum last season was 18 degrees.
Both models will have a gurney flap of 13mm on the wing plane and 10mm on the bootlid. The most significant aerodynamic adjustment sees the rear wing of the Ford Mustang moved forward 90mm and lowered by 50mm.
Front diffusers have been made smaller and the Commodore now has a longer undertray. The front bar has been tweaked on the Mustang around the outside of the brake ducts.
Changes to the engine formula will see horsepower restricted by 15 hp (11 kW). The use of cheaper piston rings and rockers, and a reduction to three engine rebuilds per season, are expected to save the teams an estimated $50,000 per car.
When asked about the raft of changes afoot, Seamer said he’s “optimistic” that DJR Team Penske and Triple Eight Race Engineering won’t be the only winners this year.
“Obviously we’ve had changes to the aero package, changes to the engine package, changes to the dampers, and changes to the way that we run the tyres,” he said.
“So when you look at the combination of the tyres, the dampers, the engine, and the aero, and a lot of the work that’s being done around that, it has the added benefit of leveling the playing field as well.
“We’ve got to go racing. The track’s the ultimate judge.
“I’d much rather this year be a narrative around talent than tech,” added Seamer.
“If we are talking about what drivers are doing and what engineers are doing, then that means we’ve got it right.
“If we’re talking about how well Chaz is going at Walkinshaw or talking about how well Todd Hazelwood’s going at BJR then yeah, we’re good.
“That’s exactly what we need to get back to and that’s what we lost last year, because we had so much technical stuff to work through.”