Gen3 Supercars set for last-minute chassis dyno run
Wednesday 15th February, 2023 - 6:00am
Supercars is planning to put its prototype Gen3 cars back onto a chassis dyno before the season starts, Speedcafe.com has learnt.
Cars representing more than half of the 25 full-season Repco Supercars Championship entries have rolled out for shakedown running now, including five at Winton yesterday alone, with another four set to do so at the rural Victorian circuit today.
However, uncertainty remains over technical regulations for the new ruleset, weeks out from the commencement of the season in Newcastle on March 10-12.
Notably, while an Operations Manual has now been issued and, as usual, contains references to Vehicle Specification Documents (VSDs) and Engine Specification Documents (ESDs), it is believed those documents have not been finalised.
The revelations come less than a fortnight after Ford Performance Motorsports’ Global Director, Mark Rushbrook, stated in a press conference that “we are not satisfied that parity has been reached either for engine or aero” in the Gen3 Supercars project.
Rushbrook’s bombshell remarks, made to Australian journalists as part of the announcement of the Blue Oval’s Formula 1 tie-up with Red Bull Racing, drew a stern response from, ironically, Roland Dane via his weekly Speedcafe.com column, in which the former Triple Eight Race Engineering (AKA Red Bull Ampol Racing) Team Principal criticised the public ‘dirty washing’.
No such dirty washing has been aired in public in the week-and-a-half since the Red Bull F1 press conferences but, publication of an Operations Manual aside, nor has there been any indication yet that aerodynamics or engine specifications have been confirmed.
Supercars was still conducting testing with the prototypes in mid- to late-January at Queensland Raceway, with work items including engine calibration and validation of VCAT.
Engine dynamometer testing by Supercars’ Craig Hasted is claimed to have shown that the Mustang’s 5.4-litre double overhead cam unit and Camaro’s 5.7-litre pushrod powerplant are in parity with each other, and that much is not necessarily in dispute.
However, gear shifting and/or mapping remains a bone of contention within the Ford camp, as reflected in Rushbrook’s comments.
It would therefore stand to reason that a chassis dyno run would either settle the matter or close in on the issue, given the broader powertrains could be tested against each other in a controlled environment.
If a fix is deemed necessary, it would seemingly be a matter of changing settings within the ECU.
Supercars was contacted for comment on the situation by Speedcafe.com but had not returned any confirmation prior to publication of this story.
Parity arguments and the lateness of the rollout aside, the shakedowns and testing itself of Gen3 cars has gone relatively smoothly up and down the field.
While a modified steering rack has been introduced, the only obvious unanticipated drama thus far has been the #19 Grove Racing Mustang shedding a wheel at Winton a week ago.
Multiple teams have worked on solutions for what is an issue with the new wheel nut’s circlip, with promising results yesterday at Winton and more testing to come today.
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