SUPERCARS has completed a two-day aerodynamic test with its Gen3 prototype cars as preparations for the 2023 season continue.
The Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang prototypes took to Wellcamp Airport near Toowoomba, Queensland, on Wednesday and Thursday this week, in brisk temperatures.
Working with homologation teams Triple Eight and Dick Johnson Racing, Supercars used the test to gather data and check procedures ahead of a full-scale test later this year.
The cars were driven by Porsche Carrera Cup young guns Harri Jones and Bayley Hall, while Erebus driver Will Brown – a pilot and Toowoomba local – also dropped in for a look.
Supercars has long used open-air, straight-line testing at airfields to set downforce and drag levels for parity purposes in a process called VCAT (Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing).
The aerodynamic specification of the cars cannot be finalised until Ford has released its updated S650 model Mustang bodywork, which the Ford teams will compete with in 2023.
“We’re very much encouraged with where the two cars are,” said Supercars Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess.
“The cars were in different configurations, but the numbers are backing that up.
“We’re here to refresh all our processes, software and calculations. It’s about putting our technical staff and the homologation teams into a co-operative space.
“We’re also sharing our data with (engineering partner) D2H in the UK; they’re supporting us in real-time checking through the data.
“There is correlation with our numbers and what we’re seeing in CFD, which gives us great confidence.”
Burgess also stressed that Supercars is on target to deliver on its promise that the Gen3 cars will have significantly less downforce than the incumbents, which should improve racing.
“The car has got a lot, lot less downforce. We knew it had less already in CFD and the results here have shown it’s significantly less,” he said.
“The car is going to move around a bit more, it’s going to be a bit more lively to drive and to watch than the current car, so I think the racing will be exciting.”
The start of aerodynamic testing follows a series of track outings for the Gen3 cars, which made their public debut at the 2021 Repco Bathurst 1000 last December.
A host of drivers have sampled the cars during testing at Queensland Raceway, Symmons Plains and Phillip Island, while they also made a brief appearance at Albert Park.
In between track hit-outs the cars received a raft of changes, including a move to mechanical sequential gear levers and significant surgery to the chassis itself to improve ergonomics.
Supercars will now turn its attention back towards track testing for the cars, which will include outings at the Townsville 500 in July.