Camaro set for more downforce after Gen3 aero tests
Monday 6th March, 2023 - 9:35am
Supercars is set to make changes to a Gen3 race car after its latest running of VCAT, but not to the Ford Mustang.
Speedcafe.com understands that it is the Chevrolet Camaro which will get slightly more downforce, at the front end, following what Supercars termed “additional straight line evaluations” at Temora Aerodrome in the past week.
Parity has been an outstanding issue since the original, full VCAT at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport in November with the Ford camp having taken the view that the Mustang was at a disadvantage relative to the Camaro, and a ‘VCAT validation’ was held at Queensland Raceway in late-January.
Ford Performance Motorsports’ Global Director, Mark Rushbrook, told Australian media early last month that “we are not satisfied that parity has been reached either for engine or aero” in a bombshell virtual press conference.
Grievances in aerodynamics are known to have been around the balance of the Mustang, which is said to have had more downforce at the front than the Camaro and less at the rear.
Jamie Whincup, Team Principal at Chevrolet homologation team Triple Eight Race Engineering, told Speedcafe.com following the above quoted Rushbrook comments that he was “happy with the process Supercars have taken” and “ready to sign off on our car after VCAT last November”.
It therefore stood to reason that if any aerodynamic changes were to arise after the so-called ‘mini VCAT’ at Temora, they would be a balance shift in the Ford’s downforce.
Instead, in an ironic twist it would seem that the Camaro has been found deficient in that area.
The outcome is thought to be a slight boost to front downforce for the Chevrolet, but no change at its rear end, and no change to the Ford at all.
Camaros did dominate the official pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park last Wednesday week (February 22).
However, that was before minimum car/driver and front axle weights had been set, noting the Mustang’s engine is materially heavier than the Camaro’s, and Ford teams tended not to run new or near-new super soft tyres.
Less is known about the outcome of the ‘speed testing’ which was held at Temora.
As revealed by Speedcafe.com, the first day at the airfield in the New South Wales Riverina was in fact aimed at comparing engine/powertrain packages, rather than aerodynamics.
The Mustangs which Walkinshaw Andretti United, Tickford Racing, and Grove Racing tested two days later at Winton then ran “faultlessly” with a new engine map.
That performance stands in contrast to throttle issues experienced in Sydney, although there is no suggestion that said new map arose as a result of activity at Temora.
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship season is set to start this Friday with practice at the Thrifty Newcastle 500.
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