Ford teams react to centre of gravity changes

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 29/03/2019
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

DJR Team Penske and Tickford Racing have responded to the centre of gravity change brought in by Supercars, declaring they accept the decision.

Supercars announced on Wednesday the Mustangs and Commodores must reposition ballast in order to raise the COG of their cars ahead of the Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint.

The Mustangs debuted in Adelaide with what Supercars described “a significant increase in ballast” compared the Falcon it replaced.

Ballast is used to ensure the cars meet the minimum 1,395kg weight, but can be placed strategically in the car to improve balance.

Although details of how much and where the ballast must be repositioned to has not been disclosed, the Mustangs are expected to be more heavily impacted than the Commodores.

The Nissan Altimas, which feature more steel components against the newer Mustangs and Commodores, will continue unchanged.

Supercars made its decision on the ballast repositioning following a COG test involving 10 cars, undertaken immediately following the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400.

Mustangs had swept the six race wins and ARMOR ALL Pole Positions across Adelaide and Albert Park; five of each to DJRTP and one to Tickford.

In a statement declaring it accepts Supercars’ decision, DJRTP has revealed it is pushing for a revised way of implementing the COG equalisation process in future.

"We accept this decision and will be in complete compliance with the rule in time for Tasmania, which is our immediate focus at the present time,” read the statement in part.

"Last week we proposed that an alternative process be formalised to determine the COG of the three individual body shapes within the series and have committed to submitting a proposal on how this could be achieved, which is in line with a similar proposal we put forward last year.

"Under this proposal, all parts, panels and components as homologated under each car's VSD (Vehicle Specification Document) would be collectively balanced under the principle of technical parity.

"We are committed to working with Supercars and the other teams on this submission.

"This approach would result in a more accurate implementation of a CoG rule and would still allow all teams to then make their own decisions in the composition and make up of their race cars beyond the paritised homologations of the three makes, which is in the spirit of the series.”

Tickford Racing simultaneously issued its own statement, expressing some disappointment over the change.

"While we are not thrilled with the situation that has arisen this week, we accept Supercars’ decision and are working with Supercars and DJR Team Penske to make the necessary technical modifications to our cars,” it read in part.

"The rules are the rules. We have won races and a championship abiding by Supercars’ direction, and our goals remain unchanged as we pursue more wins and championships no matter how the rulebook reads.

"As one of the most successful teams in the history of this championship, we relish the opportunity to compete in such an environment, and look forward to continuing that battle in Tasmania."

Holden’s homologation team Triple Eight has declined to comment on the change, while Kelly Racing’s Rick Kelly has downplayed its impact ahead of Symmons Plains.

The statements in full

DJR Team Penske:

"After the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400, the Supercars technical department, within their remit, conducted a Centre of Gravity (CoG) test on 10 cars.

"Following this test, the technical department identified an imbalance, and a rule was then drafted to address and provide for CoG parity.

"This rule was subsequently passed by the Supercars commission and ratified by the Supercars board, which saw an adjustment made to the Mustang and ZB in the interests of technical parity.

"We accept this decision and will be in complete compliance with the rule in time for Tasmania, which is our immediate focus at the present time.

"Last week we proposed that an alternative process be formalised to determine the CoG of the three individual body shapes within the series and have committed to submitting a proposal on how this could be achieved, which is in line with a similar proposal we put forward last year.

"Under this proposal, all parts, panels and components as homologated under each car's VSD would be collectively balanced under the principle of technical parity.

"We are committed to working with Supercars and the other teams on this submission.

"This approach would result in a more accurate implementation of a CoG rule and would still allow all teams to then make their own decisions in the composition and make up of their race cars beyond the paritised homologations of the three makes, which is in the spirit of the series.

"We are proud of the Mustang that we have developed in conjunction with Tickford, Ford and Ford Performance, and stand by its capability."

Tickford Racing:

"Tickford Racing is proud of the efforts and cooperation between its team, fellow Ford team DJR Team Penske, Ford Australia, and Ford Performance in the development of the Ford Mustang Supercar.

"The work done by all parties has resulted in a highly successful race car which complies with the explicit homologation regulations provided by Supercars for the sake of competition.

"While we are not thrilled with the situation that has arisen this week, we accept Supercars’ decision and are working with Supercars and DJR Team Penske to make the necessary technical modifications to our cars.

"The rules are the rules. We have won races and a championship abiding by Supercars’ direction, and our goals remain unchanged as we pursue more wins and championships no matter how the rulebook reads.

"Supercars continues to be one of the most competitive forms of motorsport on the planet.

"As one of the most successful teams in the history of this championship, we relish the opportunity to compete in such an environment, and look forward to continuing that battle in Tasmania."

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