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Ford team linked to Camaro Supercars switch

Speculation is swirling that a Ford Supercars team could switch to us Chevrolet Camaros next season if an adequate fix to the current parity issues cannot be found.

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Talk of a sensational defection from one of the five Ford teams has been gaining traction since the recent Sydney SuperNight.

It comes as the Blue Oval squads continue to struggle against the Camaro-shod outfits due to a lack of rear tyre life.

Changes were made to the Ford rear aero package for Townsville after a parity review was triggered after Darwin.

Although the Townsville event yielded the first Mustang victory of the season, this had more to do with tyre strategy than outright pace. 

The Camaros were back on top in Sydney with little in the way of optimism that the Ford woes have been solved.

Frustration over the situation has fuelled the talk that a team may jump ship next season and re-skin its cars as Camaros.

The chief suspect to a potential switch is Grove Racing, with owner Stephen Grove playing down the notion when quizzed by Autosport, but not ruling it out entirely.

David Reynolds, Grove Racing Ford Mustang GT

David Reynolds, Grove Racing Ford Mustang GT

Photo by: Edge Photographics

"That's not on our agenda at this stage," he said. "You never say never, but it's not on our agenda.

"We believe in Ford, Ford has been fantastic through this whole process with us as a team. And if you look at the work that's been done, it's taken a while for everybody to understand the seriousness that the Ford is not where the GM is.

"I know there have been some comments made by other team owners that maybe us Ford guys aren't doing a very good job – that's fact, in the sense if you look at where we are with race wins, and even the teams' championship, across the board with Ford.

"But it's a pretty big comment to make. We haven't forgotten what we're doing.

"So [a switch is] certainly not on the agenda at the moment, but we need to make sure we tick all of the boxes, in all areas, to be competitive."

A number of avenues have been explored throughout the season so far as Supercars has looked to find parity between cars that are now identical apart from the engine and bodywork.

There was an aero tweak to the Camaro before the opening round in Newcastle before a flurry of different engine maps on each side of the manufacturer divide as the quad-cam Ford V8 struggled to match the pushrod Chevrolet V8.

The engines are still running different shift cut deltas.

The rear aero change then came for Townsville as the focus shifted away from motors and back to aero.

According to Grove, the issue is undoubtedly aero, something he isn't sure will be fixed at any point this season.

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He is, however, confident the issue will be sorted ahead of round one next year.

"The problem initially was that everybody had a different view on what the actual problem was," he said. "Was it motor? Mechanical? Aero? And if it is aero, what part? Is it tyre life? Is it all of it?

"I think we're starting to narrow it down, now. Our view is that it's aero. There's a lot you can do with the motor to paritise them back to each other, with shift cuts and those sorts of things. Basically, we just use our tyres too much. And we have an issue with aero.

"It's a long bow to draw to have two different surfaces across two different cars and expect to get parity on aero. It is very complicated to achieve.

"I think they are close to working that out. You've got to be careful. In Sydney, we added more downforce on the [rear] wing, 30 or 40 kilos of whatever that number was. But that created drag which affected our top speed. One fix for one item might offset something else.

"I'm confident we'll get to [parity]. Will we get to it this year? Will we have complete parity by the end of the year? I don't know. Am I confident we'll have parity by the start of next year? The answer is yes."

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