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Gen3 Supercars to undergo Centre of Gravity parity test

SUPERCARS is set to undertake Centre of Gravity parity testing with a range of Gen3 race cars immediately after this weekend’s round at Albert Park.

The test will mark the next step in Supercars’ commitment to ensuring parity between the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

The build-up to the season opener in Newcastle was dominated by debate over parity, which resulted in late tweaks to the engine mapping of both cars and the aerodynamics of the Camaro.

While the Camaros were fitted with ballast to offset differences in the weight and Centre of Gravity (CoG) of the two engines ahead of Newcastle, whole car testing has so far only been done in simulation

That will be rectified on the Monday and Tuesday following Albert Park.

A handful of cars from teams on both sides of the manufacturer divide will be selected by Supercars following Sunday’s fourth and final race of the weekend.

They’ll then be fitted with a standardised setup and taken to Tickford Racing’s workshop in Campbellfield, where the CoG testing will take place.

The process involves physically tipping the cars using specialist equipment to calculate their CoG.

The same method was used following the Albert Park meeting in 2019 amid a furore caused by the speed of the Gen2 Mustang, which were subsequently lumped with roof ballast.

There were some murmurings in Newcastle about the Camaros having a possible advantage this time around thanks to lighter body panels, for which minimum weights have not been set.

CoG testing will be undertaken on a range of cars. Pic: Supplied

Any difference though is expected to be far less distinct than in 2019.

Mark Dutton, manager of Chevrolet homologation team Triple Eight, says his squad welcomes the latest testing.

“There should be some scope (for differences between the two brands), but really just bodywork,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“The underlying chassis is the same (between the two brands) and then the engines have their own CoG and ballast, so they’re the same.

“The only real difference should be bodywork and both of them, unlike in the past, are composite throughout, so everything should be much closer than they’ve ever been.”

It’s a view shared by fellow Camaro team boss Barry Ryan of Erebus Motorsport.

“We’ve got a lot of weight up high now, on the shock towers and on the centre of the engine,” he said.

“I think some of our body panels are a bit lighter, but until we do a CoG test we won’t know.

“But it won’t be a stupid amount like it was in 2019.”

While CoG position varied significantly between teams even within the same brand during the Gen2 testing, such discrepancies should not be present under the controlled nature of the new rules.

The lateness of the completion of the Gen3 race cars and the swift turnaround between Newcastle and Albert Park prevented the CoG testing being done prior to now.  

Supercars will continue to monitor engine and aerodynamic parity this weekend, which will both be put under the microscope on the fast and flowing Albert Park layout.

The category will take to the track five times on Thursday with two practice sessions followed by two qualifying sessions and the first race of the weekend.

PODCAST: The hot topics ahead of Albert Park

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