An early pecking order could form at Wednesday’s all-in Sydney test as teams aim to gauge performance of their new Gen3 cars.
All 25 brand-new Gen3 cars will share the track for the first time at Sydney Motorsport Park on Wednesday.
The test is open to the public, and Gen3 cars will be run with live timing for the first time.
The lighter, low-downforce cars have been shaken down by teams over the last fortnight, with ergonomics and set-up on the agenda.
Should forecast rain stay away on Wednesday, teams may be able to establish a form guide of sorts at a new circuit.
To date, teams have only run their new cars at their designated test tracks of either Winton Motor Raceway or Queensland Raceway.
The Grand Prix-style Sydney Motorsport Park will offer a new challenge for the cars, which is enhanced due to recent resurfacing.
Notably, works have been completed at Turns 1, 2, 3, 5 and the final corner.
Teams will be working to different programs, but Team 18’s Mark Winterbottom still expects the stopwatch to be tested at some stage.
“I think they’ll go quick. We’ll see who’s quick and who’s not,” Winterbottom told Supercars.com.
“It’s a pretty good test straight-up. Some people have had test days, they should roll out better. Some have only had shakedowns.
“You want to leave Sydney feeling competitive. That’s where you show your cards.
“We also want to create a set-up toolbox so when you get to Newcastle, the same stuff should correlate.
“On top of that, the engineers are renewed, because they’ve got to come up with new ideas.
“We’ll roll through our own program. Hopefully it’s not wet — we’re aiming to do a lot of laps.
“Having done 96 laps at the shakedown, we have an idea of what we’re looking for."
Shell V-Power Racing Team driver Will Davison added: “It’s a critical day to test on Wednesday.
“We’ve all sort of shaken our cars down at our test tracks in Victoria [Winton] and Queensland [Queensland Raceway].
“But the opportunity to go to another circuit at Sydney Motorsport Park, and really try and start to understand what this car is all about, is important.
“There’s still a lot of unknowns, there’s still a huge amount of uncertainty… we have so much to learn that we just we just want to get into it now.”
Should teams run to their programs, an opportunity to chase car speed would ultimately pay dividends come the season-opening Thrifty Newcastle 500.
“I’m not sure what the weather’s got in store but [yesterday] was supposed to be raining and we got sun,” Chaz Mostert said on Monday.
“If we’re going have a day like this at SMP and a lot of the teams get good running and good testing under their belt, that makes us all feel more confident about going to Newcastle.
“But, when you don’t have a lot of running with this car, you go to one of probably the most I think brutal street tracks we go to.
“So, hopefully we get a good run on Wednesday, get another test day in before [Newcastle], and I’m sure we’ll all sleep a little bit easier.
“Put 25 guys on the track with several different teams, we all want to beat each other doesn’t matter what we’re driving, so I’m just super-excited."
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will commence at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on March 10-12.
Tickets are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.