Skaife: Parity debate premature

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 26/04/2013
  • By V8 Supercars

Holden’s domination of the top step of the rostrum will notprompt V8 Supercars to clip the Commodore’s wings or boost the engineperformance of any of its rivals.

However, that doesn’t mean some form of parity adjustment won’tbe made somewhere down the track if it’s required, confirmed V8 SupercarsCommission Chairman Mark Skaife.

“We have to look at it (parity), we have to make sure we areassessing it, but it is so new and so early we have also got to be sensibleabout the way the sport determines that,” said Skaife, who is also thearchitect of the introduction of Car of the Future in 2013.

“Homologation updates will absolutely be part of how we viewit, how we determine the next steps,” he added.

CotF has brought with it the introduction of the NissanAltima and Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG to join the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon.

And with them has come the return of the parity debate thatwas an ongoing controversy within the category until the introduction of the ProjectBlueprint Falcon and Commodore racers in the early 2000s.

Pre-season Nissan pushed for engine freedoms which wererefused, while the Erebus Benzes were granted concessions including a flatplane crankshaft for the M159 V8 engine, E-Gas drive-by-wire throttle actuationand the E-Cell racing seat.

But it’s the victory by Holden in all bar one championshiprace so far in 2013 that has kept the parity chat going along pitlane.

Australian touring car legend John Bowe weighed into thedebate earlier this year, claiming in a news story in motorsport newspaper AutoAction that the new VF Commodore has a downforce advantage over its rivals.

That would have brought a smile - or grimace – to the faceof anyone who was around the category in the 1990s when Bowe, then driving forDick Johnson Racing, was an ardent lobbyist for performance improvements to hisFalcon racers.

And Skaife made the point that level of self-interest fromthe teams would always be part of the parity debate.

“We clearly know what the view of pitlane will be with this:if you talk to the Holden teams they will say they are doing a really good job,if you talk to the Mercedes bloke he will say he needs better engineperformance, if you talk to Todd (Kelly) and the Nissan guys they will say theyneed better engine performance.

“So it’s there and clearly we can’t put our head in thesand, but we have to give it time for those teams to progress and those engineperformance levels to progress.”

Skaife said the Holden domination wasn’t due to a technical advantageintrinsic to the Commodore, but improved team efforts triggered by the morelevel technical playing field delivered by the new CotF regulations. ThatHoldens make up more than 50 per cent of the grid has also helped.

“Garry Rogers Motorsport and Brad Jones Racing are teamsthat have jumped up. Also, Triple Eight has supplied a level of customer carthat is a level higher as it has rolled out.

“Tekno Autosports, for instance, has a Triple Eight car sothey pop to the top. All of a sudden you have seen teams that in the recentpast haven’t been at that level jumping into the top bracket.”

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