Rigid mirrors a question mark for Camaro drivers in Newcastle
Tuesday 7th March, 2023 - 3:25pm
Rigid door mirrors could create an unusual challenge for Chevrolet Camaro drivers when the Supercars season opens on the streets of Newcastle.
Unlike the ZB Commodore, or the Gen3 Ford Mustang, the Camaro does not have foldable side mirrors.
It takes away one of the tricks of the trade on street circuits, that being to use the side mirrors as guides given they are the lateral extremities of the car, as Macauley Jones explained in the latest episode of the BJR Run Down podcast.
“You kind of do [use them as a guide] because you’re at a street circuit, you’re grazing walls, especially like at Gold Coast or Adelaide or something,” he said.
“You’re always using every inch of the road and then the mirrors are the widest thing on the car, so that’s the first thing that’s going to fold.
“So, in a pit stop, they would just fold them back out – if they didn’t unfold themselves when you hit a kerb – where these things are probably just going to snap off. They’re pretty weak things, and they’re designed to be the weakest part of the car, really.”
Ordinarily, a Newcastle race would give drivers at least two resets on their mirrors, given the minimum two compulsory pit stops.
Nevertheless, Jones is expecting the Gen3 cars, which have about 63 percent less downforce than their predecessors, to produce better racing.
He is, however, anticipating that slipperier cars will not be the only “interesting” aspect of the Thrifty Newcastle 500.
“There’s a few things that were pretty interesting,” added the Pizza Hut Camaro driver.
“Even racing itself… you’ve got a bunch of drivers that are all ready to get going and racing and how’s it going to go after having three months off?
“Usually, it’s a pretty hectic start to the race, especially at Newcastle – that’s a pretty hairy couple of first laps; I guess that’s an interesting one – so I’m pretty pumped for it.
“Actually, I think with the new era of the sport, there’s some cool changes. I guess a big part of the Gen3 programme was to get racing better.
“We’re about to find out if that worked, and I think it will; I think you can follow cars better, I think you can slipstream cars a little bit better than what you could [before].
“Although Newcastle is not the easiest place to pass on, being so tight, I think it’s going to be really, really fun.”
Practice 1 for the Repco Supercars Championship field starts on Friday at 11:15 local time/AEDT.
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