Ford engines given all-clear after Albert Park fires

Nick Percat. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Nick Percat. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

The engines from the two Ford Mustang Supercars which caught fire at Albert Park have been returned to their respective teams after being checked over following the event.

Both the Walkinshaw Andretti United car of Nick Percat and the Tickford Racing entry of James Courtney went up in flames in spectacular fashion during the second event of Supercars’ Gen3 era.

Going forward, both the Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro will race with extended plumbing which will vent fuel/oil vapour towards the rear of the vehicle, rather than into the engine bay.

That will prevent a build-up of fumes near components which are liable to soar in temperature under high revs, such as at race starts, and hence standing starts will return at next week’s Bosch Power Tools Perth SuperSprint.

Furthermore, Speedcafe understands that the engines from Cars #2 and #5 have now been returned to WAU and Tickford respectively, having been checked since the Beaurepaires Melbourne SuperSprint, including cylinder leak testing, with no faults found.

Under the Gen3 ruleset, each entry (car) is issued two engines, produced by a single supplier for each marque (Herrod Performance Engines in the case of Ford) and having been randomly allocated before the start of the season.

James Courtney. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

James Courtney. Picture: Ross Gibb Photography

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that a new engine map has been requested for the Fords, with the hope it is approved prior to next week’s event at Wanneroo.

Calibration is now part of the Engine Specification Document and, while the new map was developed following the season-opener in Newcastle, a 28-day approval process for ESD changes means it could not be implemented in time for the Albert Park event.

There, the Mustangs appeared to be at a straight-line deficit relative to the Camaros, which have been first to the chequered flag in all six races thus far in 2023.

One parity change which has already been decided upon is a ballast shift to bring the Camaro’s centre of gravity up to that of the Mustang.

After a minor discrepancy was detected in CoG testing following the Albert Park event, the Camaro will now run with 4.97kg of ballast on a bar behind the fuel cell, while total vehicle weights remain the same.

The Perth SuperSprint begins next Friday (April 28).

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