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Gen3 aero parity work ongoing after VCAT

SUPERCARS and Ford are in ongoing discussions over the results of recent aerodynamic testing of the category’s Gen3 machinery, V8 Sleuth has learnt.

The category ran a five-day Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Test (VCAT) with the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro prototypes at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport last month.

Supercars subsequently declared the test a success as it builds towards the long-awaited introduction of the Gen3 vehicles into the championship next year.

However, Ford is understood to be unhappy with various elements of the test procedure and the final result.

Ford is believed to have expressed its position to Supercars in multiple meetings, with its global motorsport boss Mark Rushbrook directly involved in discussions.

The Blue Oval had sent its global aerodynamic lead, Alex Allmandinger, to the test, joining its homologation team Dick Johnson Racing.

Tweaks were made to both the Mustang and Triple Eight-built Camaro during the five-day VCAT in order to reach the downforce and drag figures targeted by Supercars.

Supercars told V8 Sleuth in Adelaide that it has signed off on VCAT, but that the overall homologation process – which also includes the engine specifications – is ongoing.

While Ford is not commenting on the matter, V8 Sleuth understands that Ford has not signed off on the VCAT results and has requested access to more data from the test.

The Gen3 Mustang on track in Adelaide. Pic: Nathan Wong

It is customary for representatives of the manufacturers to sign-off on VCAT, although that is not technically required in order for Supercars to finalise the cars.

Supercars significantly improved its VCAT process following the 2019 homologation of the Gen2 Mustang, which proved far superior to the ZB Commodore once it debuted.

The current process involves extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics analysis of the cars and components prior to VCAT, undertaken with UK-based CFD specialists D2H.

Supercars also staged a preliminary VCAT at Wellcamp in June this year, using the Camaro and S550 model Mustang to prepare for the November test with the updated Ford.

The S650 Mustang made its track debut in a series of demonstration runs at the Bathurst 1000 in October, in which it is believed to have run significantly slower than the Camaro.

That followed rumblings that the S550 Mustang had also been outpaced by the Camaro throughout the testing and demonstration running that has taken place at various circuits.

While the Bathurst laps were not part of official testing procedures, the performance disparity is believed to form part of Ford’s desire for further analysis to take place.

Holding another VCAT ahead of next year though is highly unlikely, given the costs and logistics involved.

The two Gen3 prototypes are in action at the Adelaide 500 this weekend, which Supercars says is part of the ongoing testing of the two cars.

Supercars teams are currently building their Gen3 machines ahead of track testing in January and the opening race of the 2023 championship at Newcastle in March.

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