DJR sidesteps Gen3 parity debate
Thursday 23rd February, 2023 - 3:11pm
The Team Principal of Ford’s homologation outfit, the Shell V-Power Racing Team’s Ben Croke, is not entering into the Gen3 parity debate after a controversial pre-season Supercars test.
Dick Johnson Racing’s red-and-white Mustangs finished no higher than 14th on the timesheet after eight hours of running at Sydney Motorsport Park, with Anton De Pasquale 1.5436s off the pace and Will Davison another 0.3514s further back.
While that is an unusual result for the 2022 teams’ championship runners-up, the more eye-catching statistic was the Chevrolet Camaro lockout of the top eight.
If not for Todd Hazelwood’s late flyer, which he completed after the chequered flag in the Blanchard Racing Team Mustang, Chevrolets would have swept the top 11.
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Asked what the timesheets said for parity, or lack thereof, Croke replied to Speedcafe.com, “That’s not for me to comment. We’re just worried about our own deal today.
“We didn’t run tyres, we didn’t look at the timesheet, so that’s for other people to work out.”
Summing up the day for DJR, he said, “We had a programme, we went through that programme.
“Obviously, [in the] afternoon, the weather impacted that on and off; it wasn’t really wet but it wasn’t dry enough to really put in.
“We ran through our changes, we ran through some procedural stuff, we ran in the rain [in the] morning, we got some good stuff done – like wipers, windscreens, and all that basic stuff with new cars that sometimes gets overlooked, so pretty happy with a lot of the stuff that we ran through.”
While the headline result might have alarmed Ford competitors and/or fans, Chevrolet teams were quick to suggest that the Mustangs did not spend a lot of time on new soft or super soft tyres.
Furthermore, the Mustangs were claimed to be running about 60kg heavier, by virtue of their engine, with Supercars having not yet finalised a minimum weight for car and driver combined (although the latter is this year stipulated as 95kg, including apparel).
Croke confirmed that DJR did not go for a new-tyre run.
“It‘s all about learning at a different track,” he explained, after both DJR Mustangs were shaken down at its usual test venue of Queensland Raceway.
“I don’t look too much at the timesheets. There’s no trophies on a test day.
“We had our plans and our goals of what we would have wanted to achieve.
“Maybe we would have liked to be a touch quicker at the end there, but we didn’t run any new tyres or anything like that.”
Supercars also confirmed in the hours following the test that it will indeed be conducted further aerodynamic testing next week, less than a fortnight before the start of the season in Newcastle.