Brand new tire combinations could play a crucial role in Gen3’s success when it launches racing in the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship.
Earlier this month, the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro prototypes seriously hit the track with the respective test teams Dick Johnson Racing and Triple Eight Race Engineering.
Dunlop Motorsport’s operations manager Kevin Fitzsimons kept a watchful eye on the cases, and was very interested in feedback from the drivers.
By and large, the Gen3 prototypes themselves are close to completion. However, there is still some work to be done in deciding what composition of tires the cars should drive on.
Currently, the prototypes run on the hard, soft and super-soft compounds that Supercars currently uses with its Gen2 machinery.
In a speech with Speedcafe.com, Supercar’s motorsport manager Adrian Burgess explained the development process for the new tire composition.
“We knew from the start that the car would require a different tire,” Burgess said.
“Our tires are currently overheating, in part due to downforce. You would have heard all drivers complain at some point that the front tires are getting too hot you can not keep up.
“We will develop a tire that fits this car. The requirement for the tire is very different when you have 450 kg of downforce or 150.
“If you compare the tire year-to-year, we actually have to go for a softer tire because you have neither the load nor the downforce that pushes the car into the ground.
“Our soft tires now, for example, are likely to be closer to where our hard times will be – if you made a like-for-like.
“We have to develop a range of tires. So we have different formats for some of our events, and of course we have circuits with higher degradation than others.
“We have to go through the process of understanding the level of tire grip that we need and the degradation that we need for our races and to make our formats fun and attractive to the spectator and the teams. Tire development is a part of the.”
Much has been said about the reduction in downforce to the cars to allow them to follow closely, but the category needs a tire to match that.
Burgess said Supercars will work closely with Dunlop to develop a range of tires to suit next-generation touring cars.
“We have to develop the right tire for this car,” Burgess said.
“At the moment, we know we are driving on the tires we currently have.
“We are ready, willing and able, and we know we will make a bit of a tire development plan to make sure we have the right tire to be able to drive close to.”
The test is set to resume at Queensland Raceway today, with Shane van Gisbergen and Will Brown sharing the Camaro, while James Courtney and Tim Slade drive the Mustang.