First full track test for Holden V6 turbo

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 21/07/2017
  • By Lewis Isaacs, Matthew Paul Photography

Triple Eight’s has ramped up testing of its turbo V6 engine program today, with the outfit’s Holden ‘Sandman’ on track at Queensland Raceway.

The test marks the first time the engine has been on track at one of the championship's circuits after 550 kilometres of running in the modified Supercar at the Norwell Motorplex in Queensland.

Triple Eight is running the Sandman alongside a current Supercar in which Super2 campaigners Will Brown, Nathan Morcom and Kurt Kostecki are undertaking a driver evaluation day.

Six-time Supercars champion Jamie Whincup is completing the testing duties in the Sandman as well as assisting the youngsters with their program.

Triple Eight team manager Mark Dutton said today's hit out is a continuation of the engine's preliminary test program and the first opportunity to run the car at high speed compared to Norwell's low speed layout.

As previously reported, Triple Eight is using the 'Sandman' as its test mule, with the car a modified version of Whincup's Commodore from 2013.

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While refining the sound of the V6 through various exhaust configurations have been part of the program, the driver evaluation test in the team's V8-powered spare car is an opportunity to make a direct comparison between the engines.

"We've had it at Norwell and there's been some releases of sound and images this week, but this is the first time we can have it somehwere you can compare it to a V8," he told Supercars.com.

"We just want to see what it sounds like here and see how it goes with the wide open throttle for longer.

"It's hard to compare at Norwell because we don't go there to race. We want to see what the characteristics are like compared to the V8.

"It's different tyres so you can't compare too much. It's not on the Dunlops so all the variables aren't there. But for reliability and strength, so far it's all good.

"Sound-wise it's really just comparing to the V8 and it actually sounds pretty cool.

"This is the first time we've stood on the front straight and had it whiz past at full noise, it's impressive."

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Dutton added the engine has met early targets for its test program with the plan to run the V6 at selected events as a wildcard in 2018 before a full introduction the following year.

"So far we can't fault it. It is still early days but we've rolled out with next to no issues. It's run pretty much faultlessly so touch wood it continues," Dutton said.

"There's lots more to go and the fact we're not running it next year, after RD (Roland Dane) and Holden announced earlier, really took the pressure off.

"Now we are running it, whether you could still hit the targets - you're not really thinking about that. You're just going on with the program.

"To be running over a year before it's due is fantastic. We never get the opportunity to do that with a new model or anything new, so it's a first and I definitely think we're well and truly on schedule or ahead."

The 3.6 litre twin-turbo V6 is based off the engine used in General Motors’ Cadillac GT3 program in the United States, with development coming from the GM Racing headquarters in Michigan.

The engine made its track debut at Norwell in late June, with Whincup, Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards driving the car.

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