More wheel-to-wheel banging for Gen3

Will Davison and Shane van Gisbergen in close quarters (right) shortly before they banged wheels at Turn 1 in Darwin. Picture: Ross Gibb

It’s hoped the type of power steering failure Shane van Gisbergen suffered at the Darwin Triple Crown after a clash of wheels will be a thing of the past when Gen3 arrives.

The Red Bull Ampol Racing driver made wheel-to-wheel contact with the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Will Davison in Race 18 of the Repco Supercars Championship, resulting in the failure.

Triple Eight Race Engineering team principal Jamie Whincup said that sort of damage will be less likely with the next-generation Supercars.

With Gen3, the spindle and wheel nut will be smaller than the Gen2 predecessor and positioned in such a way that damage is less likely to occur.

“We’re fixing that issue for Gen3,” Whincup told Speedcafe.com.

“We’ve got a smaller wheel nut and making sure it’s further inside the wheel so that things like that don’t happen again.

“We want people making lunges and we want some side-to-side contact, we don’t want front ends destroying themselves like we’ve seen a good dozen or two times over the last 10 years, which is why we’re fixing the car for Gen3.

“The wheel nut on wheel nut contact, or rim on rim, whatever it is, that contact just smashed the power steering rack, and he had no power steering for the rest of the race.

“Yeah, we’ve actually improved the rim and the wheel nut position to avoid a situation like that.

“As I said, it’s happened a couple of dozen times over the last 10 years, we recognised it and fixed it, but we’re not racing Gen3 yet, it’s next year.

“That’s just one of the improvements of hundreds that the new car will bring to us.”

The smaller spindle will also mean pneumatic air guns may eventually become a thing of the past. Instead, electric guns could be used during pit stops.

The Gen3 racing debut is slated for next year’s season-opener on the streets of Newcastle.

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