Gen3 aero put to the test at Phillip Island

The Gen3-spec Ford Mustang at Phillip Island

Supercars has taken its Gen3 prototypes to the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit to get its first gauge of high-speed aerodynamic balance.

Tickford Racing’s Thomas Randle and Jake Kostecki each got their first taste of the Ford Mustang.

Meanwhile, Brad Jones Racing duo Andre Heimgartner and Macauley Jones had their first hitout in the Chevrolet Camaro.

Tickford Racing team principal Tim Edwards was also onsite for the test, as was Brad Jones Racing engineer Tony Woodward.

Phillip Island became the fifth different circuit that the cars have taken to after Mount Panorama, Queensland Raceway, Symmons Plains, and Albert Park.

The test, which continues tomorrow, takes Supercars another step closer to signing off the technical package.

“Another two days, Phillip Island, basically we are just carrying on putting as many miles as we can on the braking package, on the engines, and just checking where the high-speed aero balance is,” Supercars’ head of motorsport Adrian Burgess told Speedcafe.com.

“This is the first seriously quick track we’ve come to. Just understanding where we are with the aero balance.

“We’re continuing to share the love amongst the drivers, so we’ve got another bunch of drivers in the cars and more access for the teams.

“We’ve got the drivers and the engineers from those teams. It’s just carrying on the development.

“We’ve done some cabin cooling work, understanding the efficiency of the cool suit system and window ducts and all those sorts of things. Basically just carrying on the programme.”

The morning’s running wasn’t without a small dose of drama.

The Camaro suffered a power steering issue with Jones at the wheel while Randle twice went off the road in the Mustang.

By the afternoon, Ford homologation team Dick Johnson Racing fitted the Mustang with a gurney to the rear wing and added small 3D-printed elements to the front splitter.

Burgess said he was happy with the early feedback he received from Randle, who was first out onto the track.

Relative to the Gen2 predecessors, the Gen3 cars have significantly less downforce and thus less drag, making them faster in a straight line but not as planted through the turns.

Of particular interest for Supercars is the high-speed, right-hander known as Hayshed between Siberia and Lukey Heights.

“It didn’t fire him off the road and it isn’t flat for him yet,” said Burgess of the corner.

“In the Gen2 car, you’d be flat. It isn’t flat at the moment. It is a very windy day here today. That can easily change with just the wind direction changing.

“I think the exciting bit is that the car is going to move around a bit more. The drivers are going to have to work at it.

“It’d be boring if it’s like a PlayStation game and it’s just flat everywhere.

“I think we should deliver on what we want, which is a car that has got less downforce, you can race up close to each other, and the drivers are actually working hard.”

PremiAir Racing’s Garry Jacobson and Team 18 driver Scott Pye are set to drive the Camaro tomorrow while Dick Johnson Racing duo Anton De Pasquale and Will Davison take the reins of the Mustang.

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