Ford Supercars teams ‘as frustrated and bemused’ as fans
Sunday 18th June, 2023 - 7:06pm
Ford teams are “as frustrated and bemused” as fans over the lopsided results so far in this year’s Repco Supercars Championship, according to Tickford Racing Team Principal Tim Edwards.
Parity questions came to the fore again when Chevrolet Camaro teams happened to dominate proceedings at the Betr Darwin Triple Crown, scooping eight of the nine podium places across the three races.
Chevrolet homologation team Triple Eight Race Engineering accounted for four of those podiums, including a race win to Broc Feeney, with two podiums for Brad Jones Racing’s Andre Heimgartner and victories for Matt Stone Racing’s Jack Le Brocq and Team 18’s Mark Winterbottom.
Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Nick Percat, meanwhile, was vying for honours in the “Ford Cup” in Race 14 and his Team Principal, Bruce Stewart, ventured after the Race 15 weekend finale that there was “a little bit more than white noise” in the Camaro dominance, which seemed a reference to recent comments to Speedcafe from Triple Eight boss Jamie Whincup.
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Stewart, Edwards, and their Grove Racing counterpart David Cauchi were seen in a long conversation in pit lane later in the afternoon, before the former two fronted media including Speedcafe to air their thoughts.
“There certainly seems to be a lot more yellow on the timing screen at the top versus blue on the timing screen,” said Edwards.
“I think the last time I checked, there were only five cars in the 1:07s in that race, and none of them had a blue box next to them.”
Asked then if there is an aerodynamic issue, Edwards reiterated previous comments about lack of transparency over data.
“Who knows? Who would know? We don’t know,” he replied.
“All we’ve got is results and lap time information. We don’t have access to aero data, we don’t have access to dyno data, overlays, we don’t have access to any of that stuff.
“So, you’re asking the wrong people. We can have opinions and obviously we’re sitting there as bemused as you are about why all this yellow and why all this blue down here, but we don’t actually know why.”
Stewart added, “Clearly, we discuss our thoughts, and we share more than we would normally, because I think there is a level of frustration.
“Any plans or anything we’re going to do, that’s our own business at the moment.”
Attempts to get comparative data have also failed so far.
“You ask and you ask,” said Edwards.
“I mean, [Ford Performance Motorsports Global Director] Mark Rushbrook’s been quoted multiple times saying it’s the lack of transparency that is probably his biggest frustration, because he’s like us.
“We’re all sitting there and we don’t have the data. Why aren’t we up there?
“We’ve got teams that finish second, third, fourth and fifth in the teams’ championship last year, that have just been smashed at the moment.”
He added, “[The Ford drivers] haven’t forgotten how to drive over the Christmas break.
“As I said, we honestly don’t know why, and we’re as frustrated and bemused as the public at the moment because we don’t know why we aren’t more competitive.”
Edwards also reiterated his assertion that the Ford pilots are being forced to overdrive in order to try and be competitive, and thus that one-lap pace, which his own Cameron Waters possessed in qualifying on pole position for Race 13, does not necessarily correlate to race pace.
On that point, Stewart remarked, “I think every Ford team can have outliers of someone who jags a great lap and sits at the top.
“But, I think the real story is the quantity of quality drivers you see floating into mediocrity, which is not where their talent lies.”