WHINCUP SLAMS ‘ RECKLESS’ FORD
Triple Eight boss’s fury over Gen3 parity push
TRIPLE Eight team boss Jamie Whincup has labelled last-minute wrangling over Gen3 parity from rivals Ford “reckless” as the clock counts down to the launch of Supercars’ new era in Newcastle early next month.
As the championship-winning squad unveiled its 2023 Camaro challenger, Whincup took a swing at “the other side” for putting the “whole system under stress” that it didn’t need less than a month out from Gen3’s debut.
Ford’s global performance boss Mark Rushbrook confirmed early this month the Blue Oval was not satisfied parity had been reached for “engine or aero” between the Gen3 Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro following Supercars’ VCAT aerodynamic testing late last year.
Ford’s lingering concerns are set to send Supercars back to the track for more aerodynamic testing later this month.
It’s understood the category plans to conduct more aero testing – following next week’s all-team test day at Sydney Motorsport Park – in a bid to resolve the parity grumblings.
Whincup, the seven-time series champion-turned Triple Eight team principal, said it was late to be “messing around” with changes when teams needed to prepare cars for the Newcastle season-opener on March 10-12.
“It’s a bit late in the piece. Aero testing was last October or November,” Whincup said.
“So to still be messing around with that this late in the piece, it’s nothing short of reckless because there is a point where we have got to build cars and get them to Newcastle.
“It’s all good to want to change the decorations, but there is a point where you have got to get the show on the road.
“So anyone suggesting that you change the decorations around at the last minute – all they are doing is putting the whole system under stress that it doesn’t need right now.”
Triple Eight bid farewell to the Holden Commodore last year when a dominant Shane van Gisbergen claimed a second consecutive championship win.
Whincup said Triple Eight had been satisfied with the results of the category’s aerodynamic testing last year. “We were happy with the way Supercars represented themselves and conducted the VCAT testing,” Whincup said.
“We were ready to sign off on the car on the last day (of VCAT testing) and we are still ready to sign off on the car provided there are no changes. But the other side wants to keep changing things around even though it’s quarter to midnight.
“It’s actually putting a lot of stress on both sides. I can’t believe it has got to this point, but it has …. anything could happen from here until Newcastle.” Van Gisbergen won a record 21 races in 2022, the Bathurst 1000 (with Garth Tander) and the drivers’ championship.