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Supercars responds to Gen3 aero parity concerns

SUPERCARS must complete the homologation of its Gen3 cars before a definitive assessment can be made on parity, says head of motorsport Adrian Burgess.

As reported by V8 Sleuth on Thursday, Ford has raised concerns with Supercars about the recent Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Test that was intended to finalise the aerodynamics of the cars.

While Supercars itself is understood to have been satisfied with the VCAT outcome, Ford refused to sign off on it and has requested further data from the category.

VCAT followed track running with the Camaro and new-shape S650 Mustang at Bathurst in October in which the former is understood to have been notably quicker.

Addressing the situation with media at the Adelaide 500, Burgess stressed that aerodynamics is just one element of the ongoing homologation process.

Other elements include parity between engines, for which final specifications are yet to be locked down, and centre-of-gravity, which is also yet to be fully analysed.

The Ford Gen3 prototype in Adelaide. Pic: Nathan Wong

“The process isn’t finished. The process is quite complex and long,” Burgess said.

“Our parity process is over many pillars of parity, so until all of the homologation process is finished, we will continue working with both of the manufacturers and the homologation teams until we’re all happy and that the process is actually finished.

“We’re working with them. We speak with them daily. We’re ticking off a couple of pillars of parity but it’s an overall that gives us the car, gives us the close racing and they’re all interlinked.

“So whilst aero is one part of it there are other parts that feed into that same parity and we continue to work with them and work on the two cars to achieve that.”

Supercars is understood to be able to sign-off on VCAT without the manufacturer representatives also doing so.

The Camaro prototype. Pic: Nathan Wong

Asked directly whether it’s relevant that Ford has concerns, Burgess said: “Of course we care what they think and we talk with them daily. But it’s a process.

“There’s no interest in Supercars signing off on something when we haven’t got everyone else lined up with it. They’re all interlinked.

“Unfortunately, the media hype is focusing on one part of the process, but I need a couple of other parts of the process finished and aligned so that they make sense together.”

Burgess stressed his confidence in the data produced from the Wellcamp test.

Supercars has worked hard to strengthen its testing procedure followed issues faced during the 2019 and 2020 homologations.

The former resulted in a Mustang that was significantly faster than the ZB Commodore it rivalled, while the 2020 VCAT was done twice after a procedural error was found.

The Ford Mustang during the Wellcamp test. Pic: Supercars

“We’re very confident in the process and we’re very confident in the numbers. But this is a bit of a journey that everybody is on,” said Burgess.

“There are other factors that we’ve been working through in our circuit testing that we’re still finalising, hand in hand with both of our manufacturers, that will bring more confidence to the overall picture.

“Unfortunately, at the moment we’re all trying to look at the overall picture, but we’re still making it. That’s not saying we’re not organised. That’s not saying we’ve run out of time. We haven’t.

“For example engines; HPE (Herrod Performance Engines, which will supply engines to all Ford team) have got six production engines finished.

“But they haven’t been delivered to me yet, so I haven’t run through them all on the (Supercars) dyno to make sure they are all the same.

“So, in terms of setting that final, (horsepower) number, in terms of engines, I need to run production engines.

“With one or two development engines I can get a capture of what they are, but I need the production parts.

“With that confidence, and that being finalised, that will then bring the rest of the pieces of the jigsaw together.

“That’s what Ford are talking to us about, and we are talking very openly and confidentially with them. We don’t need to publicise it up and down the paddock.

“Everyone is comfortable with the process and we’re working hand-in-hand to make sure we all come out of this with a car that we’re all happy to homologate.”

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