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Details emerge from critical Gen3 test

HIGH-PROFILE Supercars drivers and personnel descended on Queensland Raceway today as critical Gen3 testing picked up pace.

Five race-winning drivers were on hand: Will Davison, Chaz Mostert and James Courtney on the Ford side, with Jamie Whincup and Andre Heimgartner representing Chevrolet.

Also in attendance, beyond figures from homologation teams Dick Johnson Racing and Triple Eight, were the likes of Tickford Racing team principal Tim Edwards and Brad Jones Racing engineer Phil Keed.

After some initial laps for the Mustang prototype yesterday, both it and the Camaro spent time on track today in a closed-door session with security guarding the venue’s entrance.

MORE: The inadvertently rising upside to Gen3

Just 50 days remain until the opening day of the Thrifty Newcastle 500 and less than a fortnight until team shakedowns are due to take place.

Delays to the supply of parts has held teams back from finalising the builds of their own cars, leading Erebus CEO Barry Ryan to openly admit he expects to first hit the track in mid-February.

But today’s testing centred on verification work, including inching towards the finalisation of the homologation process.

Engine mapping has been blamed for some Ford concerns, with calibration the centrepoint of the latest efforts.

On the other side, steering rack issues were the focus for the Camaro.

“It’s great to be back in a Gen3 car doing some further testing for Supercars to try to refine the car to make it better for when we hit the track in Newcastle,” said Whincup.

Pic: Supplied

“It’s late in the day but the testing is needed and hopefully we make some good progress.

“We’re pumped to be back. It’s exciting, the new cars – I’m not just saying that.

“While I loved the ZB (Commodore), it did feel a little bit flat running another year with that same car, so how good.

“What an engineering challenge, driving challenge, it’s all going to be thrown at us. No one knows what’s going to happen in six weeks’ time and that’s what sport is all about.”

Despite any hold-ups, Davison noted the new era feels “very real now”.

“I think this day last year I was here testing the Gen3 car but it wasn’t front and centre of your mind, we had a full season to go with the old cars,” he said.

“But now it’s real, it’s here in front of us and it’s really exciting.”

Mostert this season returns to Ford for the first time since leaving Tickford Racing for Walkinshaw Andretti United at the end of 2019 and is eager to make his mark.

“I’m excited to get to come back to the Blue Oval now,” said the two-time Bathurst 1000 winner.

“I’ve had most of my success in my career representing the Blue Oval so it’s good to see the new Ford Mustang shape, it’s really spectacular and I can’t wait to get out there and represent it.

“It would be nice to try to get one of the first wins for Ford.”

Testing is due to continue at Queensland Raceway in the coming days.

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