DJR ‘finding good tools’ for Gen3 Mustangs
By Daniel Herrero, Mark Fogarty
Friday 7th April, 2023 - 6:00am
The Shell V-Power Racing Team is starting to learn how to optimise the set-up of its new Gen3 Ford Mustang Supercars, according to CEO David Noble.
Dick Johnson Racing has been Ford’s leading team for the past six years but started the 2023 season, the first of the Gen3 era in underwhelming fashion to say the least.
It could not achieve a top 10 in any of the two races and two qualifying sessions held at the Thrifty Newcastle 500, but was more competitive in the second event of the campaign, at Albert Park.
There, Anton De Pasquale scored the sole pole position for a Mustang in the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint, while Will Davison would have finished second in Race 5 if not for a time penalty for an unsafe release which relegated Car #17 to 11th in the official classification.
While less than the sort of performance which had become typical of DJR, it was a marked improvement from one event to the next.
Notable also was that Davison seemed to become more competitive through the weekend, and was first Ford driver home in the Albert Park finale, albeit in sixth position.
“Will had some pretty good balance [and] we were able to carry that through,” Noble told Speedcafe.com after that sixth race of the season.
“So, look, the engineers have found a path, I think, that’s working towards where they’d like to get the car in the right window.
“I think we’re finding some good tools as well to tweak the car up as we’re getting to understand it and know it better.”
Noble attributed the uplift to time spent analysing data from the season-opener, as well as a regulatory tweak which gave teams permission to raise rear ride height as much as 15mm through the use of suspension packers.
“The ride height at the back – the extra lift – has helped us, and we’ve had more time, I think, to analyse race data from that side of things,” he said.
“So, the boys have worked really hard – credit to them – to get the cars back into a level of competitiveness that we were quite happy with.”
Davison is now 11th in the drivers’ championship and De Pasquale 18th, the former improving seven positions but the latter dropping one after a DNF when he was turned into a wall in Race 5 while running ninth.
In the teams’ championship, DJR has crept up to ninth from 10th at the conclusion of Race 2.
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