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Supercars Albert Park

Supercars parity concerns revived at Albert Park

The fast, flowing Albert Park circuit has given fresh life to parity concerns from the Ford Supercars teams.

Will Brown, Erebus Motorsport, Chevrolet Camaro leads Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering, Chevrolet Camaro, Brodie Kostecki, Erebus Motorsport, Chevrolet Camaro and Broc Feeney, Triple Eight Race Engineering, Chevrolet Camaro

Pre-season concerns over parity between the Gen3 Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro had been eased to some extent following the season-opener in Newcastle last month.

On the tight confines of the street circuit there looked to be little between the two models in terms of aerodynamics and engine performance.

However Albert Park was always going to provide a different test thanks to its more flowing layout.

The results did, on paper, favour the Chevs, with Camaros locking out the podium in all four races, with Race 1 a top four for GM drivers and Race 4 a top five.

There was one brush with the podium for a Mustang driver, James Courtney finishing second on Friday before being stripped of the result due to a driving infringement.

The speed of the Camaros has revived the parity debate with a number of Blue Oval drivers pointing at engine performance, particularly from third gear onwards.

Parity work will continue tomorrow in Melbourne with Supercars set to undertake Centre of Gravity testing with one car from each team at the Tickford Racing factory.

It then seems likely that Ford Performance and its teams will lobby for a fresh look at engine performance before the series heads to Perth later this month.

“Certainly a tough weekend for Ford on several fronts, and one that we will analyse in coming days," a Ford spokesperson told Motorsport.com.

"We will work with our teams to understand reasons before we head to Perth”

Tickford Racing CEO Tim Edwards was tight-lipped on the matter when quizzed by Motorsport.com: “Everybody saw what I saw. I don’t really need to say anything.

"If you go and talk to any one of the drivers and you’ll get their view of the world.”

According to Walkinshaw Ford driver Nick Percat the difference between the Ford and Chevrolet units is more noticeable in the heat of battle than it is during qualifying.

"From my seat it feels like third, fourth, fifth, sixth gear on the diff ratio that we have for Albert Park," he told Motorsport.com.

"I don't know the numbers but it feels like they have quite a bit more torque than us, and a bit more drivability.

"Ford has been working really hard in the background to make that better, so I think there are some improvements to come for drivability and mapping, which we couldn't get in the cars for this weekend.

"Once CoG is done they can have a good, honest look at the engine side of things. On a qualifying lap, when we're revving the ringer out of them and keeping up the flow, we can do a similar lap time. But it's not raceable."

Grove Racing driver David Reynolds said he wasn't surprised with how Albert Park played out, given the hints that were on offer in Newcastle.

"[The Camaros] are very fast. There's still a lot to sort out with parity," he said.

"In Newcastle we were all talking about the engine performance of those vehicles. I hinted that they started to pull away in fourth, fifth, sixth gear, even if you're only in [those gears] a little bit.

"In Newcastle I was trying to pass [James] Golding and [Broc] Feeney and they would pull half a car length. It's not much there, but then when you go to a big track it looks so much worse.

"There are obviously issues there, which I hope the category will sort out.

"This weekend the podium was stacked with Camaros. Not one Ford has crossed the line first yet. That's what you have to think about.

"But these aren't fights I can fight, I'm just a driver who sees what he sees and comments on it. We relay that and [Supercars] can take it on board or not."

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