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Erebus supported Ford Bathurst parity proposal

FORD’s ultimately rejected plea for a parity change prior to the Repco Bathurst 1000 had the support of championship-leading Chevrolet team, Erebus Motorsport.

V8 Sleuth can reveal that Erebus and its CEO Barry Ryan had backed the proposed changes to the aerodynamic kit of the Mustangs.

Ford and its homologation team Dick Johnson Racing had worked with Supercars on the package, following the sharing of CFD data from Supercars’ technical partner D2H.

Designed to marginally reduce the drag on the Mustang and shift its downforce balance rearwards, Ford teams were ready to fit the parts at the track on Wednesday.

However, the fact the lap time-based parity review trigger hadn’t been hit in the required number of recent races meant that Supercars could not approve the changes on its own.

Instead, it needed the approval of all teams – including the six squads running Chevrolet Camaros.

After various prolonged meetings in the paddock on Wednesday, the proposal was officially rejected the following morning, just hours before practice.

The Blue Oval and its teams issued statements expressing their frustration over the situation.

Explaining how the process unfolded, Ryan says he wanted to see the changes approved for the good of the sport.

His support was on the proviso that Supercars equalised the electronic shift-cut timing between the cars; a mechanism that has been used by the category to slow the Camaro.

Camaro and Mustang head up Mountain Straight. Pic: Ross Gibb

“The problem is, it was all so late when the request came through from Ford and they got the proper CFD data and all that,” Ryan told V8 Sleuth.

“I didn’t find out any of the details until Wednesday (of race week at Bathurst).

“I actually asked to see (the details), so I could make a decision as a GM competitor.

“All the GM guys had got together, ‘we’ve got to say no, because we’ve got no facts’.

“But then once I sat down with a couple of Ford teams and saw the facts, I was like ‘why aren’t we just giving it to them?’.

“It was not like they were asking for a stupid amount of downforce.

“They wanted to remove a bit of downforce from the front and put it to the rear and take like one kilo of drag off, it was ridiculous that we were even fighting over it.

Barry Ryan. Pic: Supplied

“So my point was, the GM teams should have allowed it for the good of the sport.

“It would have been a really good story for the sport to see that the teams are actually working together to make the sport better.

“That’s the way I looked at it. But I get why some of the GM teams didn’t agree, because it was all so late.

“Some of them, I guess, aren’t as technical as me, and I could look at it with George (Commins, engineer for Brodie Kostecki).

“He came with me, and we both said, ‘let them do it, why wouldn’t you?’. It could have made their cars worse.”

Erebus’ #99 entry was the fastest car for the bulk of the week at Bathurst, but finished second in the race behind Triple Eight’s #97 Camaro.

Lap times during the Bathurst 1000 are understood to have set off the parity trigger required to clear the path for the Mustangs to be upgraded ahead of the Gold Coast.

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