JAMIE WHINCUP WANTS TO TEST GEN3 FORD MUSTANG

The Gen3 Ford Mustang at Bathurst. Pic: Nathan Wong

JAMIE Whincup hopes to play a key role in Supercars’ Gen3 testing program next year, expressing a desire to test the new Ford Mustang as well as the Chevrolet Camaro.

Supercars revealed its Gen3 prototypes to much applause at the recent Repco Bathurst 1000, before unleashing them for a series of track sessions.

Holden drivers Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen, Mark Winterbottom and Will Brown all turned laps in the Camaro, while Anton De Pasquale, Will Davison, James Courtney and Cam Waters sampled the ‘Stang.

The two cars had only undertaken brief shakedowns at Queensland Raceway before the event but will undergo a rigorous testing program starting in January, which will include running at several race meetings.

Supercars’ reveal of the Gen3 cars coincided with Whincup’s last race as a full-time driver before becoming team principal of Triple Eight in 2022, which adds to his role in the Supercars Commission.

Asked about driving the Camaro at Bathurst, Whincup expressed his excitement at turning more test laps next year.

“I’m lucky enough that I’ll be able to do some testing in it next year, I’ll be doing plenty of driving in that car, which is great,” he told V8 Sleuth.

“The last 18 months, especially at Commission level, we keep coming back to the same old thing, we need to improve the product.

Holden drivers with the Camaro at Bathurst. Pic: Supplied

“We are trying to change the formats, trying to get different tyres, trying to engineer all this entertainment and it comes back to ‘we need a better product’. And the product will do the entertaining for us.

“I wanted Gen3 in January, but it absolutely makes sense why it got pushed back because of COVID.

“But I’m pumped to get it on the grid, because it’s going to be a better product to work with.”

Triple Eight has already had a big hand in designing the control Gen3 platform, as well as building the Camaro prototype as part of its role as Chevrolet’s homologation team, while Dick Johnson Racing built the Mustang.

Pressed further about the testing plan, Whincup added: “There’s no plan there yet, the cars are owned by Supercars, they decide who’s going to drive it.

“I actually make sense because I’m independent, in some way. I’m not racing the car in 2023.

“I’m absolutely going to put my hand up and say ‘use me’ in both cars, to try and evolve them and make them the best cars they can be.

The two cars on track at Mount Panorama. Pic: Nathan Wong

“Some in pitlane will say I’m trying to get an advantage for Triple Eight, but that’s not the case.

“The engineers, everyone else can be there on the day, I just want to have a part in making this car as good as it possibly can be.”

Testing the Gen3 car would help Whincup stay sharp for a racing return at the 2022 Repco Bathurst 1000, where he’s expected to co-drive with his full-time replacement, Broc Feeney.

Whincup though has downplayed the prospect of racing in other categories, citing his commitments with Triple Eight, Supercars, his own carwash business and the upcoming birth of his first child.