Supercars set for all-important Gen3 VCAT next week
Wednesday 2nd November, 2022 - 8:00am
Ahead of Gen3’s debut in Supercars next year, the programme is set for an all-important VCAT next week at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport.
The Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang will begin racing in the Repco Supercars Championship next year at the season-opening Newcastle 500 from March 10-12.
Supercars completed a preliminary VCAT [Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing] in June, however, findings were not conclusive given that the Mustang used was the now previous S550 shape.
In September, Ford unveiled its new-shape S650 Mustang road car, before the S650 Supercar made its public debut at Bathurst in October.
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That was on the updated Gen3 Mustang prototype, which completed its first demonstration laps since the panels were changed over at Mount Panorama in the hands of Dick Johnson.
Production of the control Gen3 chassis is well underway amongst teams and chassis makers, with 10 chassis now delivered by PACE Innovations, according to Supercars.
A critical step in the process of getting the cars racing, the upcoming VCAT will run from Monday (November 7) until Friday (November 11).
The objective is to reach aerodynamic parity between the Camaro and Mustang before the remainder of parts and panels can be released to teams.
VCAT is a method devised by D2H Advanced Technologies, which uses an active ride-height control system, ensuring continued performance parity between cars.
Supercars Head of Motorsport, Adrian Burgess, said: “The Gen3 Mustang and Camaro prototypes have already completed an extensive testing program of over 10,000kms throughout 2022.
“The cars have been taken to several different circuits and airstrips, using all of the current full-time drivers, as teams now start to build their own race cars.
“The Weather forecast looks promising, and we’re confident we will achieve what we need to next week at VCAT.”
Supercars has already reached parity with both the General Motors and Ford engines, as reported by Speedcafe.com in July.
The 5.7-litre GM and 5.4-litre Ford examples have since undergone durability testing in the United States utilising advanced dyno technology.
Concerns have been raised in recent weeks over the additional cost of producing a Gen3 car on top of the budget that was originally targeted.
In 2020, former Gen3 boss John Casey told the media that the target was under $350,000 per car, including the engine, however, recent estimations suggest the end figure could be roughly double that.
Supercars has said the improved longevity of components for Gen3 will lead to a cost benefit down the track.
November has become a key target to secure all the parts needed to complete the new-car builds, amid an already tight timeline for chassis makers and teams.
That is to avoid a stalemate over the Christmas and New Year period, which was recently explained by Matt Stone.
It is also critical to meet the hope of having at least one car from every squad on track testing in December, thus giving sufficient lead-in time to the season-opening round in Newcastle.
Adding to the pressure, a number of teams will have to complete re-builds on current cars in order to compete at the final round in Adelaide (December 1-4).
That follows a mammoth crash in the Sunday race on the Gold Coast, which eliminated six entries on the spot.
Following next week’s VCAT, test dates for all Supercars teams, using their own new cars will be confirmed, according to Supercars.