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HomeNewsGen3 gives Richards 'early to mid 2000s' vibes

Gen3 gives Richards ‘early to mid 2000s’ vibes

BATHURST 1000 legend Steven Richards has hailed Supercars’ move away from GT3-type machinery for its incoming ruleset.

A month on from his first steer of the Gen3 prototypes, having sampled both the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro at Bathurst, Richards spoke openly about his experience.

The cars are this week undergoing critical aerodynamic parity testing at Toowoomba Wellcamp Airport ahead of their 2023 debut.

Having heard the various horror stories from throughout prototype testing, Richards’ opportunity at The Mountain left him upbeat about the Mustang versus Camaro future.

“To be honest I was really, really nicely surprised by the condition they’ve got the cars to,” the five-time Great Race winner told V8 Sleuth.

“I’d heard all of the rumours about different little things, obviously ergonomics was the big one, but it was all great. The layout of the cockpit was fantastic, ergonomically the cars were good.

“There’s probably still a bit of work to do naturally going from an eight-throttle body engine to a single-throttle body engine, the response isn’t quite as good, but that will naturally get there as they go with a bit more miles and knowledge.

“I think they’re 85 to 90 percent of the way there with that as well.”

Having last raced in Supercars at the 2019 Sandown 500, Richards was pleased the cars didn’t feel too foreign – but that’s not to say they’re not noticeably different from the current generation Mustang and ZB Commodore.

“You’ve got to remember we were running on the soft tyre so the braking would be good anyway, but the brakes were unbelievable,” said the 50-year-old.

“You could definitely feel the lack of aero particularly coming into The Chase, the cars moved around, and particularly over the humps the cars would dance around a bit like they used to in the early to mid 2000s.

“They weren’t stable, rock-solid cars like the current generation of cars are.

“Like I’ll be honest with you, when I drove the ZB, I drove that virtually exactly the same as the M6 GT3 car.

“They have a substantial amount of aero and have to be driven in a similar way, so these are definitely different.

“The cars are 100-odd kilos lighter; by the time the teams get their hands on it and do a bit of testing, they won’t be far away on certain tracks from the current generation cars in terms of lap time.”

It’s hoped team testing of the cars will begin next month following the season-closing Adelaide 500.

The opening round of the Gen3 era will be the 2023 Newcastle 500 next March.

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