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Supercars selects engines for post-Bathurst testing

SUPERCARS has sealed engines from multiple cars following the Sunday race of the Thrifty Bathurst 500, earmarked for post-event testing by the category.

Cars selected are understood to include those from the race’s top two finishers, Triple Eight’s Will Brown and Walkinshaw Andretti United’s Chaz Mostert.  

The engines will be removed at their respective team workshops under Supercars supervision and dyno tested by category engine chief, Craig Hasted, in Queensland, as part of ongoing performance information-gathering efforts.

While Supercars has been widely praised for solving the Supercars aero debate with wind tunnel testing over summer, engines are now in the spotlight.

Ford teams and drivers opined they remained at a disadvantaged at Bathurst, despite the Blue Oval debuting a raft of recently homologated upgrades.

“Part of it is a scrutineering point of view and part of it is to further our understanding,” Supercars’ general manager of motorsport Tim Edwards told V8 Sleuth of the process.

“OK, if we’re seeing differences like Chaz (Mostert) pointed out, he said he was two kays slower, was there any difference between their engines?

“As you can imagine, there’s a band the engines operate in, not every engine is the same, so we need to capture some of that information.

“Part of it is an internal study and part of it is our responsibility to scrutineer. Two of the cars (that were selected) were two of the podium cars both days.

“It’s a normal thing. You’ll see engines being taken after the Bathurst 1000 and that’s what we’re doing.”

Depending on the results, the engines will either be returned straight to the teams or stripped for further analysis.

While that testing will provide Supercars with more information, the engine parity debate appears unlikely to be solved until transient dyno testing takes place in the United States.

That was originally intended to happen pre-season.

“We’re working towards that, hopefully, in the next couple of months,” said Edwards of the transient dyno testing, which will occur at AVL in Detroit.

“There’s a few things that have got to play out. One is (Ford engine supplier) DJR needs to finalise their specification.

“That doesn’t mean they’re still in search of horsepower, but there’s a lot of interim parts on that engine.

“So they’re just working through the productionised version of what they’ve done, all the pulleys and oil pump parts primarily, so we’re just waiting for that from them.

“AVL in the US are ready for us, it’s really just a planning process and a timing process. We’re very committed to it. It’s not an if, it’s just when.”

The Supercars field at Bathurst. Pic: Supplied

Supercars has, however, already undertaken extensive running with torque sensors, which included installation in a Triple Eight and a DJR car on Friday at Bathurst.

Asked for his read on engine parity based on the information Supercars currently has at its disposal, Edwards said: “They are very close. The torque sensor data tells us that.

“The torque sensors allowed us to learn a lot more over these two or three months, plus a lot more work has gone into the moment of inertia of the engines than previously.

“A lot of those learnings are by DJR, not Supercars. They’ve done a huge amount over the last couple of months to get their engine better.

“We can provide input and advice along the way, but ultimately, the onus on them is to develop the engine. We just sign it off and say ‘yes, that doesn’t exceed our parameters’.”

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