GEN3 – “STARTING TO FEEL MUCH MORE LIKE A RACE CAR”
After making their public debuts at last year’s Bathurst 1000, the Ford Mustang Gen3 and Chevrolet Camaro are completing two days of testing at Queensland Raceway, with drivers reporting to AA that the machines have taken a step forward.
Yesterday, the two Triple Eight Racing drivers Shane van Gisbergen and Broc Feeney took the wheel of the Camaro, Will Davison of Dick Johnson Racing took the wheel of the Mustang and former Matt Stone Racing driver Zane Goddard became the first rider to drive both machines.
Due to some COVID-19 related shipping issues late last year, not all Gen3 components were on the machines when they cut their show towers in Bathurst in December.
This week the fully completed cars cut their first laps in anger, with Davison and Feeney reporting how different the car is.
Feeney drove the Camaro to Queensland Racecourse before Bathurst last year, essentially performing a shakedown and making sure all systems were working before the event.
“Two completely different missions, I guess,” Feeney told AUTO ACTION. “The first time I rode it was to make sure I could do some laps in Bathurst, now it’s about developing it for 2023.
“So the anti-roll bars, the suspension, there’s like a few different little things there that are different, and it’s starting to feel a lot more like a race car.”
Davison said in 2022 he went from shaking the car to legit high-quality testing.
“They just had a few key components that weren’t quite ready for demo laps, including a suspension component, which is (here now and) allowed us to get proper mileage on the car,” Davison revealed to AA. “It’s through the two cars, a bit of the last piece of the puzzle.
“They got some key mileage late last year on some core engine and component parts, now we’re taking the next step to go from basic running to trying to get quality mileage. on all parts.
“It’s actually my first time today, I did two very slow laps in Bathurst where I basically heard the engine note and that was it, there was no real, meaningful mileage.
“Broc (Feeney) Alex (Davison) and Ash Walsh have come a long way here before Christmas, but this is the first time I’ve driven it in anger and understand a bit about where we’re at, so that’s all part of it. of the process that they will follow throughout the year.
For all four drivers, it’s about trying and testing new components and setups every time the car hits the track.
“We’re getting a lot of meaningful data, I know it sounds boring, but we’re not here to test performance,” Davison said.
“It’s not a DJR test day, it’s a Supercar day, we’re lagging behind a lot of things here for the category car-wise, and I’m sure other things will change over time. the year.
“We’re just trying to figure out what’s good and what needs improvement.”
Feeney went on to explain that this is just the start of what will be a relentless testing program for Gen3 Supercars.
“We just change things up and see what everything does, if it behaves the same way it did on the other car with the same changes,” the 19-year-old said.
“There is a lot to do over the next 12 months. The cars are going to feel completely different again, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction. »
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