Southern teams’ Gen3 testing plans remain a moving target

Supercars Gen3 testing

Winton Motor Raceway (Triple Eight Race Engineering, whose cars are pictured, will test at Queensland Raceway)

Gen3 testing plans for southern-based Supercars teams are slowly coming together although it is still not entirely clear when most will head to Winton.

As it stands, the Blanchard Racing Team is set to conduct the shakedown of its single Ford Mustang tomorrow, although it is almost certain that it would do so alone.

Competitors are understood to still be awaiting parts and drawings including, as reported, a modified rack intended to improve the lightness in the steering of both the Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

After BRT, it is unlikely that any squads will take their race cars to a track until Ford homologation team Dick Johnson Racing and Matt Stone Racing do so at Queensland Raceway on Tuesday, February 7, with Chevrolet homologation team Triple Eight Race Engineering and PremiAir Racing scheduled to head out to the Ipswich venue on February 9.

Brad Jones Racing, which fields four Camaros, has given a tentative date of February 7 or February 8 for shakedown running, which is no longer limited to 60km per car.

Similarly, Erebus Motorsport has nominated February 8 as its first target for initial on-track running, and “the rock solid no choice date is the 13th.”

That timeline was given in its latest update penned by CEO Barry Ryan, who declared that any car running on the originally scheduled Winton shakedown date of February 1 would either have an unfair advantage or be non-compliant with Gen3 technical regulations, an assertion consistent with the parts/drawings delays teams are known to be experiencing.

As for fellow Camaro squad Team 18, Bruin Beasley has told, “Our plan is to run both cars [in the] middle of Feb [February 14 or 15]; do a shakedown and the loose plan is then to go to SMP for the official test [Sydney Motorsport Park, February 22] and then we will probably test again between SMP and the first round.”

Grove Racing Team Principal David Cauchi has advised, “We’re just working to a programme based on parts availability, so we’ll just test when we have parts to complete a car. It is what it is, so I don’t have anything confirmed.”

Neither of Grove’s fellow Melbourne-based Ford squads, Walkinshaw Andretti United and Tickford Racing, have stated any plans since Supercars announced its “flexible testing program” in recent days, although it is understood that they are operating to broadly similar timelines to those noted above.

Round 1 of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship is the Thrifty Newcastle 500, on March 10-12.

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