Walkinshaw: Lack of Gen3 testing not ‘comfortable’

Ryan Walkinshaw (left)

Ryan Walkinshaw says his team is not comfortable with the lack of time the Supercars field will be given to test the new Gen3 cars before the season begins.

Tipped as the biggest generational change in the history of the sport, the Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang will race in the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship.

The new cars are effectively a clean slate, with Gen3 bringing a number of new concepts to the category, including a chassis built of majority control parts.

While prototypes of the Gen3 Camaro and Mustang have completed a significant amount of on-track running, teams still need to test the production version of the cars.

The essence of that testing is not only so pit lane can learn about the new Supercar before racing them, but also to ensure the reliability of the production examples before competition begins.

Testing for Gen3 was originally slated to take place in December of 2022, though has been pushed back to the end of January, weeks out from the opening round in Newcastle.

On today’s episode of the KTM Summer Grill, Walkinshaw, Director of Walkinshaw Andretti United (WAU) spoke out on the testing delays.

WAU, of course, also has the significant shift in brands to adjust to as the Clayton operation goes from a Holden to Ford squad.

“These cars have not had the amount of testing that we would feel comfortable with as a race team before going and racing a full season with them,” he said.

“There will be issues in both cars, I think, at points during the year — reliability issues and so on, but that’s just the reality of a new product.

“Particularly one that hasn’t had the full testing that we would have wanted or hoped for.

“That’s the same risk for everyone though, everyone is going to be dealing with a new product and that comes with a reliability risk.

“It’s going to be up to the best teams to work the hardest and try and reduce the risk of those impacting the results across the year whilst we go out there this year trying to win championships, win Bathurst, and win races.

“That’s going to be our goal, but it’s going to be an interesting season because there is going to be a lot more ups and downs than normally we would anticipate having in a season because of the unknowns of Gen3.”

Over the summer break, teams have been at work building the new cars, with some parts still rolling in.

As reported by Speedcafe.com yesterday, Ben Croke, Team Principal at Dick Johnson Racing, believes there is no option to further delay the timeline.

“It’s a huge amount of work,” commented Walkinshaw.

“It’s no secret that Gen3 has had its challenges and we’re at the really, really late stages and everyone has worked really hard to make sure we get on the track for Newcastle.

“It’s not been an ideal process in many ways, but we’re hoping that it will all work out well.

“Everybody is going to be all hands on deck in our team making sure we continue to work all the way through the off-season.”

The season-opening Newcastle 500 takes place from March 10-12.

CLICK HERE to watch the full KTM Summer Grill episode with Ryan Walkinshaw.

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