The Supercars championship is set to witness a new era of competitive balance following a groundbreaking week of wind tunnel testing in North Carolina. This historic event marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of aerodynamic parity, ensuring a level playing field for the upcoming 2024 Repco Supercars Championship.
In an unprecedented move, two Gen3 race cars underwent rigorous testing at the state-of-the-art Windshear Full Scale Rolling Road Automotive Wind Tunnel in Concord, North Carolina. This facility, renowned for its precision and advanced technology, facilitated over 4000 kilometers of running, providing invaluable data for the Supercars teams.
The testing week was noteworthy not only for its scale but also for the high level of scrutiny it attracted. Chris Popiela, NASCAR's senior director of aerodynamics, visited the Windshear facility, lending his expertise to the testing process. This collaboration underscores the commitment to achieving parity in the sport.
By the third day of testing, Supercars CEO Shane Howard, alongside the homologation teams, confirmed that both cars had reached a level of aerodynamic equality. Howard lauded the effort and collaboration of all parties involved. "It’s been a really good exercise, good people, everyone worked really well together, the HTs [homologation teams] worked well together. We obviously had Chris from NASCAR here and had his experience and heard some of his advice," Howard told Supercars.com.
The testing also saw significant contributions from the Windshear facility staff, whose professionalism and expertise played a crucial role in the successful data capture. This data is now set to deliver aerodynamic parity, a crucial aspect for the competitiveness of the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship.
Supercars General Manager of Motorsport, Tim Edwards, elaborated on the process, highlighting the detailed and collaborative nature of the testing. "We got ourselves to a point where we settled on the Camaro yesterday, so then it was up to the Mustang and DJR," Edwards explained.
This meticulous approach ensures that each vehicle is finely tuned and equitably matched, a testament to the dedication and technical acumen of the Supercars teams and management.
In addition to aerodynamic testing, Supercars will embark on transient dyno testing of the two engines ahead of the new season. This comprehensive approach, which also includes the arrival of torque sensors in Australia, is part of a broader strategy to ensure equitable racing conditions.
Howard emphasized the importance of this holistic approach. "We’re using better tools to get better information to make better decisions, to ensure we get equitable racing situations. The focus will go on that, and we’re not far from the start of the season," he said.
With pre-season testing scheduled to commence in the first week of February, ahead of the season-opening Thrifty Bathurst 500 on February 23-25, the Supercars championship is gearing up for what promises to be one of the most balanced and competitive seasons in its history.