Jones: Mustang straight-line speed ‘not a problem’
Monday 3rd July, 2023 - 3:58pm
Macauley Jones has declared the Ford Mustang’s straight-line speed “not a problem” amid an outstanding Supercars parity review.
Jones is one of the 14 full-time Chevrolet Camaro drivers in the Repco Supercars Championship, a contingent which has collectively won 14 out of the 15 races held so far in this, the first season of Gen3.
After regular tweaking of the Ford engine calibration, the spotlight shifted back to aerodynamics following another Camaro rout at Hidden Valley, and changes to the Mustang package are expected before this weekend’s NTI Townsville 500.
“They throw the word parity around, but what is behind it is sometimes a hard one to read,” said Jones in the latest episode of the BJR Run Down podcast.
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“We’re not looking at the numbers of the testing Supercars have done [in] pre-season and during the season.
“I think they’ve been at Winton checking a few things – trying to see what they what they want to do there – and, if they change something, pretty sure we’ll find out pretty soon as, obviously, we’ve got Townsville coming up in a week. So that’ll be an interesting one.
“But, racing against them, their straight-line speed is not a problem I don’t think.
“I mean, I was behind a couple of over the [Darwin] weekend and I’m definitely not passing them at the end of the straight.”
It has been argued by the Ford camp for several events now that, for one reason or another, the Mustang wears out its rear tyres faster than the Camaro does.
Jones, who pilots the #96 Pizza Hut Camaro, remarked, “I think the outright speed is obviously there [for the Mustang].
“I mean, if you didn’t have outright speed, you wouldn’t have one on pole [as Cameron Waters achieved at Hidden Valley, with the two fastest laps of the weekend].
“It is definitely an ongoing thing; an investigation of what they’re trying to do.
“They’ve done some mapping over the season and improved that by the looks of it.
“I’m not driving one so it’s hard to say, but I think they’re sort of saying something about aero and tyre life.
“They don’t seem to have the tyre life that they want. Whether that’s set-up or aero or still the mapping, I’m not exactly sure, but they seem to just not be able to hold on to a race.”
However, the parties involved – CFD firm D2H Advanced Technologies, Supercars’ Motorsport department, and the homologation teams (particularly Dick Johnson Racing on the Ford side) – will also have to ensure that there is no increase in downforce and/or drag in a straight line.
Slashing downforce in a bid to improve the racing was a key objective for Gen3, after the Gen2 sub-era was blighted by aero wash.
“I feel like I can sort of follow them equally as good to be honest,” said Jones.
“I think that was actually probably more of a thing last year with the [Gen2] and following different manufactured cars; that definitely threw spanner in the works.
“But, I don’t think it’s as much of a problem now. I felt like you could follow pretty well. They’ve got that under control.
“In fact, that’s probably the best I’ve followed cars at Darwin before. I mean, obviously, it’s a hot round, it’s very easy to overheat your tyres, especially the front tyres when you’re that close to people, but you didn’t have that as bad over the weekend.”
Meanwhile, Erebus Motorsport boss Barry Ryan has expressed his hope that the parity review brings an end to such ructions and that “the racing becomes even closer and harder, if that is at all possible.”
The NTI Townsville 500 starts this Friday, July 7.