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Gen3 aero wash gets early tick of approval

A KEY pillar of Gen3 has been given an initial green light, with Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton declaring a win for the ability to race closely.

Aero wash was a common complaint of drivers regarding the outgoing Gen2 cars, three-time champion Shane van Gisbergen being particularly vocal on the matter and its negative impact on overtaking.

Downforce levels have been slashed by more than 60 percent for the incoming Mustang and Camaro Supercars, and the early signs are good, says Dutton.

Van Gisbergen ran in close quarters with fellow Chevrolet drivers James Golding and Broc Feeney at different points this afternoon at Queensland Raceway, the #97 chasing and passing both (albeit with some level of assistance).

While van Gisbergen declined to speak with media post-test, Dutton said the feedback is all good.

“The dirty air that you get, the aero wash, the tyres overheating, that definitely all seemed to be greatly reduced and that’s really positive,” Dutton told V8 Sleuth.

“That was a huge motivation obviously with the reduction in aero, was to improve our racing so it looks like that might have been achieved.”

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Between van Gisbergen and Feeney, the two Red Bull Camaros tallied about 210 laps today, leaving Dutton and the crew “over the moon”.

There was still time for procedural exercises including practicing pit stops and race starts.

Shane van Gisbergen at Queensland Raceway. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

“Everything has changed: motor, wheels, size of the nuts,” explained Dutton.

“There’s things that have been stalwarts of Supercars forever, like the old architecture and the old engines and the old wheel nuts have been around for so long, so for those things to change… the starts, the torque of these engines is different to the old engines.

“The response, because it’s a single-throttle body, all of us those things add up to a different feel in the pit stop launch and different start procedures.

“Obviously the wheels and the wheel nuts are different for the pit crew, the spike is hugely different to what we have had in a Supercar before.

“So all of those things, and the refuelling head as well, we ticked a few boxes with some preliminary factors.

“There’s a lot more before we will be competitive and speedy (but it’s a start towards understanding). The mechanics took to it straightaway so that’s always good as well.”

Feeney observed of his two practice starts: “It was just to see what it was like on the clutch that I was running.

“I couldn’t see the throttle percentage or anything so I was sort of winging it and it was actually not too bad, so good data to look at and go through.

“You sort of got off good and then you have got so much torque so just trying to manage it is quite difficult, but for the first couple I’ll definitely take it.”

Triple Eight is due to return to QR on February 14 for another day of testing.

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