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SUPERCARS’ new Gen3 cars are set to debut partway through the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship season, following confirmation their introduction will be delayed.

After months of speculation that time is running out to complete the design and build of the cars for the start of the season, the category has announced a new August 2022 target.

Amid criticism that the Gen3 project has been mishandled, Supercars is citing the COVID-19 pandemic as a key reason for the delay.

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While a calendar for next year is yet to be revealed, it means the season will start with the current Gen2 Ford Mustang and Holden Commodore.

A Gen3 Mustang and the new Chevrolet Camaro are then slated to roll out for August in an unprecedented mid-season change for the championship.

As Gen2 cars will not be permitted to compete in the ‘main game’ once Gen3 is introduced, it means that this year’s Bathurst 1000 will still be the last for the Holden Commodore.

News of the adjusted timeline follows a recent declaration from Supercars that the prototype Gen3 Mustang and Camaro will begin track testing this August.

Dick Johnson Racing (with partner Pace Innovations) and Triple Eight are building the prototypes, while work also continues on new-gen engines.

“Supercars has today confirmed the Gen3 race cars are targeted for inclusion in the Repco Supercars Championship in August 2022,” a statement from Supercars said.

“Following challenges with international supply chains and ongoing domestic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision has been made to ensure a seamless introduction of the new platform at that time.

“The preparation and building of the Gen3 race cars will still be conducted as quickly as possible and the completion of the Camaro and Mustang prototypes are a key short-term focus.

“The additional time will be used to thoroughly test new components prior to introduction, particularly those that must be sourced from outside of Australia.

“Regardless of the above, Supercars remains committed to unveiling the prototype Gen3 cars to fans as soon as possible.

“The prototypes will have regular outings at all Supercars events in the lead up to racing next year.”

Cost-cutting has been a major focus for Gen3, with the cars said to be on target to cost around $400,000 each inclusive of engine, compared to around $700,000 under Gen2.

More control components, such as uprights, wishbones and anti-rollbars, are meanwhile aimed at reducing development avenues and therefore spending.

Supercars insists that a decision on whether the Gen3 cars will adopt paddle-shift and auto-blip, which has been a lightning rod for criticism among drivers and fans, is yet to be made.

Regardless of paddle or stick activation, the gearshift mechanism will be electronic rather than mechanical in a bid to extend gearbox and engine life.

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