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McLaughlin says Mustang ‘definitely slower’ in 2020 spec

Simon Chapman

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Wednesday 19th February, 2020 - 3:22pm

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Scott McLaughlin

Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Scott McLaughlin says he’s noticed a drop in downforce on his Ford Mustang, but isn’t worried about the change.

Following extensive Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing (VCAT) by Supercars, the Ford Mustang has had several aerodynamic adjustments made.

The rear wing has been moved forward by 90mm and lowered by 50mm for 2020. The profile of the brake ducting has also changed.

Rear wing angle on the Mustang and Commodore is now restricted to a range of seven to 13 degrees, down from a maximum of 18 degrees.

Both cars will have gurney flaps of 13mm on the wing plane and 10mm on the boot lid.

Following the BP Ultimate SuperTest, pace-setter Will Davison said the adjustments to the aerodynamic package have been noticeable.

McLaughlin made similar remarks, confirming rear stability has been affected, but was also conscious of the effect the blustery conditions had on the car at The Bend.

“I don’t feel like I’ve lost my balance, the downforce is just lower,” McLaughlin told Speedcafe.com.

“That’s what they wanted to try and do anyway. The cars are definitely slower. There are bits and pieces where it’s not the same but I gain in other areas as well. It’s alright.

“It was very windy and with the dirt and dust, the track was changing every lap.”

Shell V-Power Racing Team stablemate Fabian Coulthard echoed McLaughlin’s sentiment.

“It was pretty loose in places, It was fun though,” he said.

“I didn’t think it was drastically bad. Obviously it’s been well documented, the changes in the car, being applied from a category standpoint.

“Just to get out there and feel what that’s like is good. It was difficult to read into the times at the end of the day.”

McLaughlin ended the day in eighth overall, 0.6790s adrift of the fastest time set by Davison of Milwaukee Racing on a 1:47.7437s.

Two separate timing beacons were being used by different teams, meaning the final times at the end of the day weren’t necessarily indicative of outright pace.

“Ultimately I don’t think we were the fastest car, but we weren’t really trying for that,” said McLaughlin.

“We were just trying to feel the aero and different changes that everything does.

“Everyone is running different beacons so you don’t see the true form. We’ll figure it out. It was productive and that’s all you can ask for.

“We’ll find out if we need to do more work this weekend.”

McLaughlin comes into the 2020 season with two successive Virgin Australia Supercars Championship to his name.

While the team comes into the Superloop Adelaide 500 as form guide favourites having clean swept 2019, McLaughlin said he’d be happy with two top five finishes.

“I just want to get a good start,” he said.

“You can easily lose 150, 200 points here and be down the championship and chasing. Two solid results for me is always the aim.

“Last year was amazing, two wins is what you want to have. I just want to have a solid start.

“If I got two top fives coming out of this weekend, I’m going to be in the fight somewhere, it would be a good start.”

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