Supercars pushes back Gen3 testing

A DeWalt Racing Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Prototype testing of the Gen3 specification Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro has been pushed back to October.

Supercars head of motorsport Adrian Burgess last month confirmed plans for an August debut of the prototypes at Sydney Motorsport Park.

Now, that target has been pushed back to October due in part to delays in the manufacturing process.

Burgess said the aim is to debut the cars “as soon as possible” with homologation teams Triple Eight Race Engineering and Dick Johnson Racing conducting testing in conjunction with Supercars.

Burgess noted the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing double-header in Townsville as another stumbling block for the build process.

As it stands, both testing teams have a chassis built while Mostech Race Engines and KRE Race Engines are in the midst of developing the Ford and General Motors engines respectively.

“It’s hard for us to give a precise date this far away but we’re hopeful that we’ll be on-track in October,” Burgess told select media including Speedcafe.com.

“We’re hopeful that it will be at an event. We are struggling a little bit with shipping, with getting parts, with getting materials for the composites and for the manufacturers to build the parts.

“So this is a little bit of a fluid situation and we’re relying on American and European manufacturers for some of the components.

“Equally, the race teams are away. We’ve just asked them to do a double-header so actual work in putting the prototypes together has probably slowed down a little bit this week while we’re all away.

“The two cars are coming together fairly well but we’ve still got lots of bodywork and things which are in production and some of those parts have eight-, nine-, 10-week lead times to make them.

“So it’s impossible to give you a… I can’t say it’s 9:15 on October the first or October the second, we can’t give you that much detail this far out.

“With everything that is in front of us at the moment, it would be highly unlikely it’s next month [as previously planned],” he added.

“We certainly haven’t taken our foot off the gas, both homologation teams and Supercars technical department along with all the partners outside of that group are working flat out to bring this together as quickly as we can.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted global supply chains as did the week-long Suez Canal blockage earlier in the year.

Locally, the Sydney and Melbourne lockdowns have provided a further hurdle.

“It’s difficult for me anywhere in this process or for Supercars to say it’s on this date,” said Burgess of the track debut.

“These things are very fluid. I’ve introduced a million cars over my career – do they actually land on the day that someone wants them to at the start of a programme or a year earlier? No they don’t.

“This thing is fluid and we’re dealing with a very complex set of parameters out of our control with COVID, with Melbourne and its lockdowns, with Sydney and its lockdowns, with supply chain issues all around the world that are known and everyone can see them.

“We’re not making any of this up, it’s pretty evident what is going on outside of our control and around the world and these are having impacts on how quick we can put it together.

“Yes, you try and set your best target but everyone has to be understanding and appreciative that some of these things are just completely out of our control.”

Supercars has earmarked a mid-year racing roll-out at the 2022 Sydney SuperNight and that’s still the plan despite the prototype testing delay.

“That’s our plan,” said Burgess.

“That’s the target and that’s what we are all working towards.”

The 2021 Repco Supercars Championship continues today with Race 15 at the NTI Townsville 500.

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