Supercars confirms more Gen3 aero testing

The Gen3 prototypes at Wellcamp Airport for VCAT in November 2022

The Gen3 prototypes at Wellcamp Airport for VCAT in November 2022

Supercars has confirmed that a further round of Gen3 aerodynamic testing will be held next week, as the parity debate flares up again.

As reported earlier today by, the category has booked multiple days at the Temora Aerodrome, in the New South Wales Riverina region, less than a fortnight out from the start of the 2023 season.

The activity has been described within the paddock as another VCAT (Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing) and, while Supercars stopped short of describing it as such, or confirming the location, the programme which it has announced is consistent with the VCAT process.

Supercars CEO Shane Howard outlined the plans via a statement issued to media following today’s official pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park.

“Supercars can confirm additional straight line evaluations will be conducted next week to validate the current specifications of the new Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang ahead of their debut in Newcastle on March 10,” said Howard.

“These final tests have been jointly developed between the respective Manufacturers, their Homologation Teams and Supercars, as an agreed pathway to ensure best practice finalisation of the specification of both vehicles.

“The results of these evaluations will help us to provide the best racing product for all our stakeholders and importantly our passionate fans.

“We have been extremely pleased with the way the Teams have utilised the flexible testing regime that has been rolled out over recent weeks, with over 10,000km of shakedown and test laps completed in the Camaros and Mustangs.

“As we approach the biggest change our sport has ever undertaken, it is imperative that we continue to validate the new Supercars relative performance as Parity is a cornerstone of the continued success of our Sport.

“The tests will be strictly controlled to ensure all parties are treated fairly and equitably, in a transparent and collaborative manner, consistent with the accredited Homologation process to ensure that we provide the best racing product possible.

“We take our responsibility to our fans, teams, and all stakeholders very seriously and therefore believe that this validation testing will only strengthen our process moving forward.”

The announcement comes in the hours following a Chevrolet Camaro-dominated day of testing at Eastern Creek.

The 14-strong Camaro contingent in the 25-car field locked out the top eight in the afternoon session and on combined times.

Fastest in both sessions was Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner, but Brad Jones himself argued that it is “hard to read a lot” into the timesheets.

He reasoned that, with minimum weights having not yet been determined for the Gen3 race cars, the Mustangs were running at around 60kg heavier than the Camaros.

The freedom which teams enjoyed with respect to tyre compounds, with all three in the slick range available, further clouded the picture.

A full VCAT was conducted with the Gen3 prototypes at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport in November 2022, before validation exercises were undertaken at Queensland Raceway in January.

However, the Ford camp is still unhappy with the aerodynamic balance of the Mustang relative to the Camaro.

While there is apparently no dispute about the total downforce figures, the Mustang is thought to have more at the front and less at the rear.

As reported when revealed last week that further aerodynamic testing was set to take place, the argument from the Ford camp is that the Mustang will qualify better but will not have the longevity in tyre life in order to compete with the Camaro over a race distance.

Supercars also ended up conducting a second VCAT before the last change to the Gen2 aerodynamic package, when it trimmed downforce from both the Mustang of the day and the ZB Commodore in the 2019/20 off-season.

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