GEN3 MUSTANG SUPERCAR DEBUTED WITH PADDLE-SHIFT

This image inside the Mustang was released by Supercars this week. Pic: Supercars

SUPERCARS’ Gen3 Ford Mustang prototype ran a paddle-operated gearshift for its maiden track test at Queensland Raceway on Wednesday.

The category though insists it has not made a final call on whether paddles will replace the traditional sequential stick-shift when the new regulations are introduced in 2023.

NEWS: Gen3 Mustang completes first track test

PICS: First look at Gen3 Mustang and Camaro Supercars

A mooted switch to paddles has been a major talking point during the development of the Gen3 package, creating vigorous debate within the industry and among fans.

The category has committed to switching from the traditional mechanical mechanism to an electronic system for gear changing in a quest to reduce wear-and-tear on engines.

However, it plans to test both paddle and stick operated versions of the electronic shift system in the Gen3 prototypes.

It was initially slated that the Mustang would test the stick and the still-under-build Camaro would evaluate the paddles.

But as revealed in this week’s Castrol Motorsport News Podcast, which can be streamed below, that plan has clearly been altered.

Confirming that the Alex Davison-driven Mustang ran with paddles during its first test, Supercars’ Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess stressed that a stick-shift is still part of the broader test plan.

“As previously communicated, the plan has always been to try both paddle shift and stick shift during the testing phase,” he said in a statement provided to V8 Sleuth.

“No decision has been made yet on what we will use when racing commences for Gen3 in 2023.”

The Triple Eight-build Camaro is also expected to run the paddle-shift when it hits the track for the first time, likely next week.

The new Mustang has a much sleeker roofline than the current Gen3 car. Pic: Supercars

Supercars this week teased the look of the new cars via an online video hosted by Mark Larkham ahead of their public reveal at the Repco Bathurst 1000 on December 3.

The first test itself though took place behind closed doors, with no images or vision having emerged.

For more insight into the Gen3 rollout and a host of other hot topics in Supercars and the world of motorsport, listen to the latest episode of the Castrol Motorsport News Podcast.