Gen3 working group poised for crucial post-AGP meeting
Monday 3rd April, 2023 - 4:43pm
Supercars’ Gen3 Technical Working Group is poised for a crucial meeting in coming days after the two Ford Mustang fires at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix.
Nick Percat’s Walkinshaw Andretti United entry and then James Courtney’s Tickford Racing car caught fire in their left-front corners in consecutive races at Albert Park.
Neither driver was seriously harmed and Percat even managed to contest the following morning’s sessions at the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint, although Courtney’s Mustang was a scratching from Race 6 after its similar yet larger blaze.
Theories abound as to the cause(s), and emergency measures including a Safety Car start and changes to the cars themselves were implemented for Race 6, but a solution has not yet been arrived at.
According to Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan, who is a member of the Technical Working Group, further talks will occur this week, after centre of gravity testing which began today at Tickford’s Campbellfield workshop.
“They’ve got two days of CoG testing now and we’ll have a meeting on Wednesday and just catch up on everything that happened this weekend,” he told Speedcafe.com.
The issue would seem to be particular to the Mustangs, and it stands to reason that one car might be more susceptible than another given their differing engine architectures and hence also packaging under the bonnet.
Ryan’s team fields Camaros and while Erebus followed Supercars’ advice at Albert Park, he is unconcerned about his own cars, but a stakeholder in the process nevertheless.
“There were some suggestions from Supercars what they thought it might be, so obviously we listened to them, we checked our car, we did some things that were suggested, but I didn’t really have a concern ourselves, because I think it’s a Ford thing,” he reasoned.
“There’s going to be a lot of investigation during the week – obviously I’m part of the Technical Working Group – so, once we get into those meetings, we take our GM, Ford hats off and we try and work through what’s good for Gen3 and Supercars, so I’ll be trying to help as much as I can to work it out.”
At Albert Park, the Mustangs ran in Race 6 with modifications to the catch can, including a pipe which fed excess out the bottom of the car rather than breathing into the engine bay, and removal of the tyre pressure sensor which had been identified as a possible trigger for the fires, with Chevrolet teams had the option of making the same changes.
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