Supercars Gen3 tests continue

The Gen3 Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro test vehicles at Mount Panorama, Bathurst, last October. Image: Ross Gibb Photography

Homologation testing of the Gen3 Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro is set to continue at Queensland Raceway this week and beyond.

Two days of testing at Tony Quinn’s Queensland Raceway will centre around the engine calibration of the S650 Ford Mustang Coyote engine, specifically tuning its overhead-cam 5.4-litre V8 in line with Chevrolet Camaro’s pushrod 5.7-litre V8.

Joe Hendrickson from Ford Performance has been flown in from Detroit to oversee the final engine tuning process, with testing stretching into next week where the calibrated Mustang is expected to be tested alongside the homologation spec Camaro.

The difference in the architecture of the Ford and Chevrolet powerplants, built by Herrod Performance and KRE Race Engines respectively, has seen a need for a unique approach to each brand’s engine calibration. Gen3 is centred around a one-size-fits-all cost-saving approach, however the earlier calibrations applied to both engines revealed the need for brand-specific solutions.

Testing at QR will see Ford homologation team Dick Johnson Racing supply Will Davison, who will share driving duties Tickford Racing’s James Courtney and Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert – the latter team having announced a switch from General Motors to Ford for the 2023 season.

That said, a final homologation spec of the S650 Ford Mustang, which was first shown at the 2022 Bathurst 1000, is still yet to be tested, with a separate final VCAT (Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing) expected later in January, most likely at Wellcamp Airport in Toowoomba, where December’s instalment of VCAT was carried out.

It’s hoped that the Mustang’s rear wing, conspicuously missing in the recent updates from Ford teams including the Blanchard Racing Team entry, will be officially signed off.

In addition to the final homologation yet to take place, Supercars teams are facing a number of setbacks including parts supply issues as they push to complete their builds on time. Significant to this is the dramatic shift away from in-house fabricated components to externally supplied control parts for items including dash-pads and suspension components, among others.

This comes as teams are counting down the days until their first scheduled to go on track, with Northern-based teams set for the January 30 shakedown at Queensland Raceway before Victoria-based teams visit Winton to carry out their shakedowns on February 1.

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