Clarifying the ‘Camaro chassis’ and ‘Mustang chassis’

The PACE Gen3 chassis

Supercars has confirmed that the PACE and Triple Eight Gen3 chassis are indeed of the same specification, and can be used for either model of car.

Images of the Triple Eight Race Engineering-built chassis were released in mid-April, before the PACE Innovations example broke cover on Wednesday, both to much fanfare.

The former is destined to be turned into the prototype Chevrolet Camaro, of which Triple Eight is the homologation team, while the latter is on its way to Dick Johnson Racing to become the prototype Gen3 Ford Mustang.

Photographs of the bar work suggested that the chassis may have been of a different specification, and they have sometimes been referred to informally as the ‘Camaro chassis’ and ‘Mustang chassis’.

Furthermore, the involvement of two different organisations for the build of chassis represents a departure from the development of the Car of the Future package, when PACE was responsible for the chassis which underpinned both the prototype Commodore and Falcon.

However, it is now understood that the Gen3 chassis were simply presented in slightly different states of assembly, in terms of componentry which attaches to the main chassis structure.

It is furthermore believed that the front clips may have differed from Triple Eight to PACE at some point but, if so, that has also been harmonised.

Speedcafe.com sought clarification from Supercars, which has confirmed that the chassis are of the same specification, including rear subframes.

“There is no difference to the chassis. They’re just different photos,” the category’s head of motorsport, Adrian Burgess, told Speedcafe.com.

“The rear subframes are the same.”

It is thus also the case that examples of either chassis may be turned into Camaros or Mustang, notwithstanding that PACE is the existing supplier of DJR, the Ford homologation outfit.

Teams will also continue to have the option of sourcing kits from PACE, or Triple Eight, or producing chassis for themselves to the specification.

“The chassis is the same, either can be used on either marque,” confirmed Burgess.

“The T8 chassis will become the Camaro, the Pace will become the Mustang.

“Teams can build or buy as each team has a different operating model. Depending on staff levels, each option has its benefit to the individual team in terms of time and cost.”

Another time-saving element which has been built into the Gen3 chassis is removable front and rear sections, which should expedite repairs during race weekends.

The most obvious visual change, however, is the height of the roll hoop.

Supercars promised last October that Gen3 cars will have the same “key panels and glass” as the corresponding road vehicles, with the roll hoop being dropped in order to accommodate the lower rooflines of the Camaro and Mustang relative to the sedans for which Car of the Future was originally designed.

The Gen3 chassis has also been designed to accommodate a battery pack, should hybrid power eventually be introduced, and a new exhaust placement.

Additionally, the driver will be seated even further away from the door, and there will be a small, GT3-style hatch for medical crew access.

Fuel capacity will go up 25 litres, Supercars has advised, representing an increase of more than 20 percent relative to the current 111 litres.

The category has previously forecast a track debut “in the middle of the year” for the prototypes, although no exact date has yet been stated.

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