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HomeNews‘Set and forget’: Whincup’s plea to trust wind tunnel

‘Set and forget’: Whincup’s plea to trust wind tunnel

JAMIE Whincup wants it on record: there should be no in-season parity tweaks in 2024.

Supercars has committed to “world’s best practice” this summer in the form of wind tunnel for sorting aero and transient dynos for engines.

Hence, Whincup’s thinking is, changes beyond that would undermine such substantial investments and essentially be a full-blown move towards Balance of Performance (which comes with more games of sandbagging and whatnot).

Whincup was quick to declare at the Adelaide 500 that he was not claiming a resurgent Ford had a parity advantage, but that he’s simply hoping the ‘p-word’ will be a non-topic next year, whichever way things land.

“I’ve always been a fan, as soon as Supercars announced we’re going to the wind tunnel, fantastic,” said the Triple Eight managing director.

“That can put the whole debate to rest. Don’t mix my words, I’m not saying there’s not parity today, I’m going down that track at all, I’m just reiterating what I’ve already said: we’re going with world’s best practice and we’re about to find out how close the cars really are.

“I’d just like to go wind tunnel testing, get the cars right and then that’s it, forget about it. There’s no more changes for the year.

“Hopefully we can find that place with Windshear and the AVL dyno and we get it right, set and forget, move on and just go racing.”

It’s a stance Ford stopped short of fully supporting.

“I would share the hope that it’s not necessary,” Ford Australia product communications and motorsport manager Ben Nightingale told V8 Sleuth.

“But I think Supercars will maintain their parity review system and trigger mechanism and all those things and that will operate as it always has, as it has on multiple occasions this year.

MORE: Ford details rejigged Supercars engine program

“And if there isn’t a parity issue, that won’t be activated and we won’t be talking about it. Fingers crossed that’s the case.”

Ford Performance’s motorsport engineer lead for Australia, Brendan McGinniskin, added: “The in-season adjustments are only necessary if the pre-season testing isn’t successful.

“So moving to better technology, more comprehensive testing should then mean that that’s not required in-season.

“But as Ben said, the numbers will be run every time just as they have been done all this year and if there’s a need for an adjustment, probably the benefit of going to the tunnel is that we can actually correlate our CFD, so you can go through that loop and if you do need to make an adjustment, you can trust the CFD.”

That level of CFD trust has been a concern of Ford’s in 2023 but will be greatly enhanced by the Windshear visit.

“One of the challenges throughout the entire year has been Ford’s CFD and the D2H CFD haven’t necessarily agreed with one another,” said Nightingale.

“So having one central bastion of truth will be massively beneficial for everybody.”

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