Supercars to slash downforce by 67 percent

The Shell V-Power Racing Team will run a new Ford Mustang in 2022. Render: Dick Johnson Racing

Supercars is set for massive downforce cuts with the arrival of Gen3 in 2022, slashing two-thirds of the aero levels seen in the current Gen2 models.

Drivers have long complained about dirty air and aerowash caused by high downforce levels in Supercars.

It is hoped a reduction in downforce will allow cars to follow each other closely and in theory promote overtaking.

That grizzling has been heightened in recent years by parity adjustments to the Ford Mustang and Holden ZB Commodore.

Supercars reduced downforce between the 2019 and 2020 seasons by approximately 12 percent, although the dirty air problem persisted.

With the advent of new regulations, Supercars is taking the opportunity to make wholesale changes.

“One of the biggest things our drivers complain about currently, is not being able to follow the car in front closely at mid-corner on high speed corners and then make a pass at the following corner,” a Supercars spokesperson told Speedcafe.com.

“Less passing means less entertaining racing, which is why we are addressing it. With 400-plus kilograms of downforce on our current cars, it creates a lot of disturbed, or “dirty air” for the following car which is what the drivers are complaining about.

“Coming down to mid-100kgs we believe, and this is being backed up by the work being done in CFD [computational fluid dynamics], will significantly reduce the amount of dirty air generated and therefore improve following conditions and then passing, thus improving the racing.”

Next year the grid will feature a new-look Ford Mustang which will race alongside the Chevrolet Camaro, marking the first time since 1984 that the nameplate has raced in the championship.

Until now, little had been said of the aerodynamic matters related to Gen3 and how much of a downforce reduction could be in order.

Renders released at last year’s Bathurst 1000 showed the Mustang and Camaro sporting centre mounted rear wings.

Speedcafe.com understands those wings will be used primarily as a parity balancing tool.

Those renders also revealed a new-look front splitter with fenders on either side. It remains unclear whether those elements will make it to the final race-ready models.

The Mustang and Camaro silhouette will also bear a closer resemblance to their road-going counterparts.

Among the tenders for controlled componentry released to date, Supercars has sought one or more bodywork suppliers.

That would see the successful applicant or applicants supply Mustang and Camaro bodywork including the roof, boot, doors, quarter panels, mirrors, front and rear bars, front splitter, rear diffuser, rear wing elements, A-, B-, and C-pillars.

It is hoped Supercars will have a functioning prototype on track by mid-2021 in time for teams to build cars in the off-season.

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