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Supercars investigating wheel nut fix after series of lost wheels

Supercars could revise its wheel nut system ahead of the Bathurst 1000, with potential solutions being trialled on Monday, after a series of lost wheels.

Screenshot 2023-09-17 at 3.32.04 pm

The Gen3 wheel nuts have returned to the spotlight in recent weeks off the back of a number of wheel-related incidents.

The most high-profile was the wheel coming off Garth Tander's Grove Mustang while running fourth in the early stages of the Sandown 500.

There were similar instances at the Sydney Motorsport Park and Sandown ride days for Triple Eight and Erebus respectively, although the latter is thought to have been a hub-related failure, rather than linked to a design flaw of any time.

Autosport understands testing is being undertaken today on some solutions that could improve wheel retention with the smaller, lighter Gen3 nut and spindle systems.

That feasibly means a change could be mandated ahead of the Bathurst 1000.

A lost wheel on the high-speed, largely wall-lined Mount Panorama would have the high potential to badly damage a car.

Brad Jones Racing owner Brad Jones forecasted a change to the current system in a video posted to the team's social channels last week.

Matthew Payne, Garth Tander, Grove Racing

Matthew Payne, Garth Tander, Grove Racing

Photo by: Kelly Grove Racing

His theory is that a design similar to the old-generation cars, with an in-built central clip to stop nuts unwinding entirely even if they come loose, is the desired fix.

This isn't the first time wheel nuts have proven problematic on these new cars, with a re-design of the system that retained the nut inside the rim itself required before the start of the season.

There were also changes to the stubs on the hub to stop rims sticking while hot.

Speaking after his off at Sandown, Tander said: "I felt on the lap before that something was either bending, or something was going on in the left rear. I was about to ask [race engineer] Al [McVean] up the back straight because we were expecting a wind direction change, and I thought it was pulling the car around a bit.

"At no point did I think the wheel was loose. I didn't get any alarms on the dash that the tyre was going down. The little bit of surveying I did at the end [after the crash], the wheel obviously came off the car but the tyre was flat. I don't know what happened first."

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