Matt Stone Racing rookie Cameron Hill expects the margins to be even tighter when Supercars tackles Symmons Plains next weekend.
The 2.4km Symmons Plains circuit, which will host the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint, features the shortest lap time in Supercars.
Shane van Gisbergen’s practice/qualifying lap record, set in 2022, came in at 50.4840s.
The margins at CARCO.com.au Raceway in Perth, despite drivers and teams learning the new Gen3 cars, were tiny.
The pole-winning margins in Perth were 0.0257s, 0.0404s and 0.0824s.
Hill believes, given the ongoing engineering ‘arms race’ with the new cars, it will be much of the same next weekend.
The rookie is well-placed to make a splash at Symmons Plains, given MSR’s recent form at the circuit.
Last year, Jack Le Brocq scored a shock front row start for the finale, with Todd Hazelwood keeping top five pace in the races.
“It’s the most level the playing field has ever been,” Hill told the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.
“It’s a bit of an arm’s race from an engineering perspective of trying to unlock these cars.
“Sometimes, you make changes and it doesn’t seem to make a big difference. Other times, it can be super sensitive.”
“I think in Tassie, you’ll see a similar situation where the entire field will be covered by three tenths.
“It’s amazing — it’s a sneeze. Hopefully we can be the right side of the sneeze.”
Brad Jones Racing’s Macauley Jones reiterated Hill’s point that the smaller set-up window of the cars means drivers will be under pressure to adapt.
It has already caught several teams out — most recently, Shane van Gisbergen qualified a lowly 21st for the Perth finale.
“These things are pretty hard to drive,” Jones told the Schick Cool Down Lap podcast.
“You’re forever trying different things at the moment, as well as engineering.
“You’re forever trying to adapt your driving style to suit the differences in engineering and my philosophy we’re coming up with."
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will resume at the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint on May 19-21.
Supercars will be on track on the Saturday and Sunday of the event, headlined by a 42-lap sprint on Saturday and two sprints on Sunday.
Tickets for the event are on sale on Supercars.com and Ticketek.com.