Hazelwood could feel Gen3’s ‘extra torque’

The Gen3 Camaro at The Bend

Todd Hazelwood feels the extra torque in the Gen3 Supercar engine package was quite noticeable from behind the wheel.

Matt Stone Racing duo Hazelwood and Jack Le Brocq sampled the Chevrolet Camaro at a recent test day at The Bend Motorsport Park.

It marked both drivers’ first taste of the prototype ahead of the debut of Supercars’ new era at the start of next season.

Hazelwood could feel clear differences in the Gen3 example when comparing it to current-gen machinery, admitting he was ‘surprised’.

Speedcafe.com reported last month that the 5.7-litre GM and 5.4-litre Ford powerplants had reached the point of parity.

“I thought the car was pretty good to drive; it was really well balanced,” the Truck Assist Racing driver told Speedcafe.com.

“It feels quite nimble behind the wheel and certainly you can feel the extra torque which is nice.

“Supercars and the teams involved have done a good job because it’s a long way down the track now and getting close to the final piece of the puzzle.

“Everything feels like it should be and it feels like a proper racecar.

“With the confidence we’ve got behind the wheel, it should entice good racing.

“I was certainly expecting to have a harsh and pretty wild style of car, but I was pleasantly surprised,” he added.

“Considering it’s only a couple of years into development it felt pretty reasonable to drive.

“I was really impressed with the brake package in it, which is all new componentry to what we’ve run in the past as well.”

Hazelwood’s comments follow on from a similar point made early in the project by Anton De Pasquale, who said the Gen3 Mustang ‘feels like you’ve got 1000 horsepower’.

The recent test at The Bend was focused on the finalisation of the project’s oil system.

Hazelwood believes we are yet to unlock the full potential of the Gen3 cars, given the prototypes are only running generic set-ups.

“No doubt when we get the cars we’ll get an understanding of what its true speed and capability is once we start playing around with the set-up and tuning things up,” he enthused.

“I think that’s going to be the unique thing of Gen3, a bit like when Car of the Future was rolled out, it was the most race winners we’d ever seen to the start of a season.

“From our point of view, as a team, we’re hungry to try and use that to our advantage.

“The biggest teams in pit lane have the most resources but with an unknown quantity it provides an opportunity for other teams to have some different ideas and get rewarded for it.”

His first test in a Gen3 car has been a long time coming, but Hazelwood feels there is somewhat of a benefit that it has come late in the piece.

“It’s been a long patient process to be able to drive the car but driving this car late in the process is actually a good thing for us as a team,” Hazelwood said.

“It gives us potentially the closest opportunity to what we may be driving next year as we get close to everything being signed off.

“I had lower expectations and when I jumped in the car I was happily surprised.

“It was a really neat thing and quite pleased with the work that has been done. I certainly see it being a good thing for the future of the sport.”

The Gen3 cars will be in action at the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint (August 19-21).

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