Edwards hopeful of eradicating parity ‘band-aid’
Thursday 8th June, 2023 - 2:04pm
Tickford Racing Team Principal Tim Edwards is hopeful that work which is ongoing with respect to Gen3 powertrains will eventually render a Supercars parity “band-aid” redundant.
Consistent with Ford Performance’s global motorsport chief, Mark Rushbrook, Edwards has been unwilling to declare that the Mustang has an issue relative to the Camaro, save for the need for some driveability “tidy-ups”.
However, he has called for further testing and more transparency over powertrain data in order to isolate what the disparity is, if indeed one exists.
Supercars has made some steps on that front, with an investigation into the use of a transient dynamometer and the ordering of torque sensors, the former of which can be used for more advanced parity testing in a controlled environment, and the latter of which will measure the ‘real world’ effect.
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There has also been more work on the engine maps of both the Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro, with the Ford contingent running a live trial of three different calibrations in practice during the most recent event at Symmons Plains, and further trials during subsequent private test days.
Furthermore, while the Camaro’s shift cut has been elongated to 105ms since the start of the season, the Mustang’s was shortened even further, to 30ms from the standard 50ms at Symmons Plains from qualifying onwards.
Edwards says the goal is to eradicate that discrepancy altogether.
“Whether that’s [shift recovery issue] symptomatic of another problem we’ve got, we don’t know,” he told Speedcafe following the Symmons Plains event.
“But, there’s no shying away from it; Supercars knows it’s there, everybody knows it’s there.
“The shift recovery, they’re having to deal with it by different shift cuts between the two engines, because there is an issue between the two engines at that point.
“Now, whether that’s extending to other points, God only knows; we don’t have any data to substantiate that.
“We do know there’s an issue when we change gears, and you do that a hundred times a lap, so they’ve sort of got a band-aid fix in there at the moment.
“Hopefully, eventually, we’ll get to a point where they can both run the same shift cut, which is what we should be doing, because that would be parity.”
Tickford’s Cameron Waters was the best-performing Ford driver in Symmons Plains, with finishes of fourth, fourth, and seventh, and even scored the bonus points for setting the fastest lap in two of the three races.
Nevertheless, Waters likened his situation to being “in a gunfight with a knife” against those driving Camaros, and Edwards said the #6 Monster Energy Mustang pilot is being forced to overdrive in a bid to be competitive.
“He’s driving it a hundred percent,” he stated.
“He feels he can’t drive anything less than that.
“He can’t do what we’ve always done in this category, which is manage his tyres, because he feels he needs to overdrive the car to be competitive.
“So, whether that’s our car, whether that’s … who knows, but for him to race at the pace that he’s racing at is to drive at a hundred percent.
“He can’t manage his tyres, which is what everybody knows we’ve done in this category forever.
“You’ve always managed your tyres and you choose when to work them hard and when not to work them hard, but we’re struggling to do that at the moment.
“We just need to we need to work ours hard every lap of the race.”
The next event of the season is the Betr Darwin Triple Crown at Hidden Valley on June 16-18.