V8 Supercars has rebutted claims a varying fuel blend provided a horsepower advantage to the factory Nissan Altimas that finished one-two in the 60/60 Super Sprint at the Winton 360 today.
V8 Supercars Championship points leader Jamie Whincup made the claim today following his failure to finish the race, due to a mechanical failure, when he was leading and seemed comfortable out front.
But V8 Supercars is emphatic the new blend provides no power or performance boost, with data that categorically substantiates it.
In a background media brief at the post-race press conference V8 Supercars said all teams signed off on the fact the Nissan Motorsport team were running a different variant of the fuel today and through the course of the weekend.
V8 Supercars said the owners of each team were consulted as far as the performance figures of the engines was concerned; adding it was an economy led discussion. It was also noted the Winton track is one which has the least amount of full throttle application of the 14 Championship circuits. Only 36 per cent of the lap is spent at 100 per cent throttle.
The revised blend was also tested by the Erebus Motorsport Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG of Maro Engel, who finished 18th.
The blend is designed to improve fuel economy so the multi-valve engines of the new Altimas and E63s will be more competitive with the established Ford and Holden engines in the PIRTEK Enduro Cup, which comprises September’s Wilson Security Sandown 500, October’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 and ARMOR ALL Gold Coast 600.
All cars in the field will be powered by the standard E85 petrol-ethanol mix in Sunday’s races at Winton as V8 Supercars continues collecting data in the lead-up to the endurance races.
Moffat, who scored his and Nissan’s first V8 Supercars win, was unhappy with the claim the fuel had delivered an advantage to him and Caruso.
“There is no performance implications on the car at all, this is purely about fuel consumption.
“I am probably a little bit annoyed because it will get to the team guys more than anything. They have worked their backsides off to get us to this stage and it probably takes a bit of the gloss off what’s been a pretty good day for us.
“One-two at this level of racing is not to be sneezed at. People can call it jungle juice or whatever they want, but I think Jamie has had a pretty good run over the years.”
It is understood that post-race investigation of each car’s engine control unit showed the Norton Nissans were no faster in a straight line than other two Jack Daniel’s-sponsored Nissans of Rick and Todd Kelly, which ran back in the field.
The data also showed the fastest Nissan to be 4km/h slower down the main straight than the leading Ford Falcon and 3km/h slower than the leading Holden Commodore.
Jason Bright, who finished third in his Lockwood Racing Holden Commodore VF, said it was no surprise the Nissans had been more competitive at Winton than any other Championship circuit so far.
“There is no doubt the Altimas have a lot of downforce (aerodynamic grip) and they have been quick at every circuit where there are a lot of corners,” he said. “So this track was always going to suit them.
“If they run with standard fuel tomorrow then they will have some pretty good data to compare their fuel economy and to compare their pace. If they win tomorrow … then no-one has got anything to complain about.”