Walkinshaw claims illegal Super2 engine had been approved by Supercars

Jordan Boys

Walkinshaw Racing claims that the engine which has seen series leader Jordan Boys disqualified from a Super2 race at Bathurst was of a specification approved by Supercars.

The #49 Image Racing VF Commodore, which Boys drove to victory in Race 2 and therefore the series lead, was found to have an engine which did not comply with its purported ESD (engine specification document), nor any other on issue.

Walkinshaw Racing builds the Holden engines which Image, and the Super2 squad’s technical partner Erebus Motorsport, use in competition.

It claims that the engine in question, WR62, was fitted with a development cylinder head which had been trialled in 2015, and remained in use due to stock shortages, with Supercars’ approval.

That is at least somewhat consistent with the stewards decision, which states, in part, that “some components on the engine are inconsistent with the specifications in the ESD”.

Walkinshaw Racing also claims that, “At no point was the decision to use the development cylinder head made for performance,” although it was found that the engine did breach Supercars’ accumulated engine power number for a VF Commodore engine.

Stewards also stated, “No application was ever submitted by WAU to vary ESD SC-2-305 to change any of the homologated components specified in that ESD and, had such an application been lodged, it would have been rejected for reason that the changes yielded an AEP in excess of the approved maximum.”

According to Walkinshaw Racing, the stock shortage was caused by damage sustained in last year’s Supercars Championship opener, when new engine specifications took effect, and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supercars’ records, according to stewards, have the engine last being used in a Championship event, by Walkinshaw Andretti United, in 2019.

The full statement is reproduced below

Team statement: Walkinshaw Racing

Walkinshaw Racing (WR) has today responded to the Motorsport Australia verdict following the Image Racing hearing regarding Race 2 of the 2021 Super2 Championship.

The engine in question was built by Walkinshaw Racing during the COVID-19 lockdown in Melbourne during 2020, with Supercars and Walkinshaw Racing in regular dialogue.

WR understood, based on its discussions with Supercars, that a WR development cylinder head trialled in 2015, was permitted to be used in the Super2 engine.

The reason for this understanding was due to WR’s low-stock levels for rebuilds, following engine damage across all four Walkinshaw Racing Supercars engines at the 2020 Adelaide 500, sustained as a result of the new mandated engine package. This issue was heightened by the subsequent COVID-19 lockdown throughout 2020, which presented ongoing resource and parts supply issues.

At no point was the decision to use the development cylinder head made for performance, the decision was made due to the availability of parts prior to and inclusive of a worldwide pandemic, and at all times, WR is of the belief that the engine was compliant due to the ongoing discussions and open dialogue with Supercars.

It is disappointing that Image Racing and driver Jordan Boys have been disqualified from Race 2.

The Team will be making no further comment in regard to the matter at this time.

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