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Supercars Sandown

Supercars set for post-season wind tunnel tests

Talks are underway for Supercars to conduct overseas wind tunnel testing with its Gen3 cars at the end of the current season, Autosport has learned.

Broc Feeney, Jamie Whincup, Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Parity was back in the spotlight over the Sandown 500 weekend with the best of the Camaros looking like the faster package.

Fears of a complete whitewash, prompted by the rapid pace of the Chevrolets in practice, weren't quite realised, with six Mustangs making the Top 10 Shootout.

Come race day it was still an all-Camaro top five, although that was helped by the two fastest Fords in the early stages – the #26 Grove Mustang and the #6 Tickford Mustang – being taken out of the running in the same freak incident.

The Grove car, driven at the time by Garth Tander, shed a wheel at Dandenong Road, the rogue wheel then collecting the Tickford car and destroying its rear wing.

Ford is known to be pushing for another aero tweak ahead of the Bathurst 1000, with the front bar now the focus as it looks to shift the aero balance of the Mustang to the rear.

While that is not out of the question, it appears the focus from Supercars and its homologation teams Triple Eight (GM) and Dick Johnson Racing (Ford) is already on the future.

Autosport can reveal that plans for wind tunnel testing, most likely in the US, are already in the works for the Camaro and the Mustang.

Wind tunnel testing has been used extensively in other categories

Wind tunnel testing has been used extensively in other categories

Wind tunnel testing was identified by teams as the next logical step earlier this season, with teams now largely expecting it to go ahead in the off-season.

Supercars declined to comment when contacted by Autosport.

The move to what is effectively a complete control package under the bodywork, save for the two different engines, has put an emphasis on aero parity never seen in Supercars before.

While the Vehicle Controlled Aerodynamic Testing (VCAT) process used in the past was sufficient when teams still had freedoms in aeros such as front suspension, the removal of those freedoms has put a premium on aero performance being absolutely perfectly balanced between the two makes.

Hence why Supercars has moved to investigate a costly wind tunnel programme which would be expected to put and end to the parity discussion – at least in terms of aero.

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