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Percat: Mustang vs Camaro points of difference vital

NICK Percat says it will be important for the Gen3 Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro to retain some points of difference to facilitate entertaining racing.

It’s hoped off-season wind tunnel testing will ensure the two cars are put on the ultimate level playing field in 2024.

Percat is interestingly placed as one of two drivers, the other being David Reynolds, who are going from a full season in the maligned Mustang to a 2024 primary seat in a Camaro.

So the 2011 Bathurst 1000 winner knows all too well why parity is needed – but his hope is that the cars are equalised in performance and not in attributes.

“We just need it to be equal, or as close to equal (as possible),” Percat told V8 Sleuth.

“You definitely need differences in the cars to make the racing exciting because if we all have exactly the same aero and exactly the same engine package, we’ll be like (Carrera) Cup cars, just follow the leader.

“So yeah, I’m definitely excited for the wind tunnel and at least get the cars in a spot where everybody can be quiet about it and say ‘it’s done’ and put a line in the sand and just go racing.

“And then you’ll be able to see the differences in the way the Ford makes its power and the GM engine because I definitely think there is different characteristics there, which is what we need.”

As to whether the off-season program will actually quash the parity subject, Percat replied: “I think if it goes one way and Ford don’t get anything, GM will sit back and go ‘I told you so’.

“And if it goes the other way and the Ford needs a lot of work, there’ll be some very disgruntled people with how this year has rolled out.

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“But it’s hard, what do you do? You look back at when the Nissan came and that kept getting little tweaks here and there, and that ended up being quite a really good aero package come the end of it, but they didn’t have probably the engine side sorted.

“It will be nice to hopefully just go about the racing and focus on the enjoyable part of the sport, not everything that bashes it down really.”

As for the pre-Gold Coast parity changes, Percat is optimistic.

“I think it’s good. The rear wing position I feel will be the biggest improvement. I think that was a backward step when we did that for Townsville,” he said.

“The rest of it, we don’t know about that, but once I heard the rear wing was going back towards what we started with and a little bit extra, I was certainly happy with that.

“We’ll see, I don’t think it will really show up around Gold Coast or Adelaide to be honest, it will be probably early next year when we get back to a high-speed track when we see the difference.”

Ryan Walkinshaw and Nick Percat. Pic: Walkinshaw Andretti United

It’s been a tough season for Percat, who is 20th in the standings and is set to shift to Matt Stone Racing on a two-year deal.

“It would be amazing to finish with good success here and Adelaide,” said the 35-year-old.

“I think obviously if they have touched up the aero a little bit, that will make it a bit easier and as a team we have been throwing a lot at these cars in set-up land to try to get a direction for next year for the team as well.

“Hopefully everything we have learnt over the last two or three (rounds), especially having Lee (Holdsworth) and Fabs (Fabian Coulthard) in the car as well and their feedback matched what myself and Chaz (Mostert) were saying, hopefully we come out here and put it all together and have a couple of rounds where the cars aren’t moving so much in set-up and we can just maximise and have two good weekends.”

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