THERE’S no mistaking the fact the 2024-spec Chevrolet Camaro Supercar is a different beast to last year’s iteration.
The Camaro package remained stable last year while its Ford Mustang Gen3 counterpart underwent two key aero upgrades: a relatively ineffective update pre-Townsville, and a much more powerful series of changes in October prior to the Gold Coast.
It’s generally accepted the Camaro had an advantage of sorts for the opening 10 rounds of 2023, and that the Mustang ended the year as the superior package.
Off-season wind tunnel testing has sought to ensure true aero parity between the models, a process through which both cars received additional downforce – something that is tipped to lessen the need for tyre conservation.
In the second BJR Run Down podcast episode of 2024, Macauley Jones observed just how noticeable the changes are from behind the wheel, even with Winton being a not particularly aero demanding circuit.
“It’s obviously somewhat hard when you have such a big break from not driving the cars, but you definitely noticed it,” Jones said following last week’s pre-season test.
“I think they’re a little bit more settled, the car is a little bit nicer.
“That sweeper is probably the most noticeable place at Winton to feel the aero and you could definitely feel it there, it felt much more controlled, a little less reliant on the mechanical side of the grip that we’re trying to chase than we have been in the past.
“The added aero has just cleaned it up a little bit, it has made it a little bit more manageable.
“It does kind of change a little bit the approach that you have to have with your set-up and the mechanical grip that you have been trying to generate, you might have to tune that up a little bit.
“It’s definitely not at the ZB level (of downforce). Obviously it was a massive cut when we went from the ZB to the Chevy Camaro, but it’s definitely a good step up from what we did have (last year).”
Parity efforts have subsequently shifted to the engine front, with Ford homologation team Dick Johnson Racing developing a new-specification power unit.
Supercars is set to gain one last lot of pre-season data during demonstration runs at this weekend’s Repco Bathurst 12 Hour.