Ford’s tunnel vision bad news for Commodore
DESPITE being slapped down with a bombshell go-slow order after the Fords were ruled to be unfairly fast, the Mustangs domination over the Commodore could continue following the revelation that DJR/Team Penske have their very own wind tunnel.
While Holden-backed teams are forced to rely on computer programs to predict the Commodore's aerodynamic efficiency, the Mustang can be accurately tested and adjusted in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel owned by DJR/Team Penske billionaire Roger Penske.
Located in North Carolina, USA, and operated by the Penske Technology Group (PTG), the 50 per cent scale model wind tunnel was used to help design the Ford that was last week proved to be too fast by a Supercars test.
Supercars do not even have access to a wind tunnel to test the parity of the three makes - Holden, Ford and Nissan.
"The PTG Wind Tunnel is a commercially available open jet wind tunnel for the testing of 40 per cent to 50 per cent scale models,'' said the PTG website.
"The tunnel provides a moving ground plane and boundary layer to accurately simulate real word conditions.
"The tunnel is combined with a sophisticated control and data system to produce accurate, repeatable results in the minimum number of runs.
"A variety of advanced tools and methods are available to the customer to assist with their aerodynamic testing needs.''
One of America's richest men, Penske had helped transform the team formerly known as Dick Johnson Racing into a V8 juggernaut.
The allegiance with Penske has already delivered the team a Supercars championship with Scott McLaughlin breaking through to win his first title last year.
With American backing from both Ford and Penske, DJR/Team Penske this year unleashed the Mustang in what has so far proved to be an almost unbeatable addition to the V8 grid.
Having won all but one of this year's 10 races, the Ford was this week revealed to be unfairly fast with Supercars ordering that aerodynamic changes be made to the Mustang in a bid to slow that all-conquering car down.
Ford said they were disappointed by the decision after Supercars approved the car for racing following a pre-season test.
"The Mustang is an advanced, state-of-the-art Supercar, designed and built within the rules of the series," said Mark Rushbrook, Ford Performance's global director of motorsport.
"We are disappointed that we have had to make changes to the cars, however we respect the Supercars technical department and will comply.
"The changes to the Ford Mustang Supercar are specific to the rear wing and undertray. Most notably, the size of the rear-wing endplates will be reduced, while the Gurney flap will be reduced in height and undertray in length.
"We will make these changes ahead of the next round so we can quickly understand the affect they'll have on Mustang to give us the best chance of maintaining our pace," said Rushbrook.
"Mustang is run by some of the best teams in the series and that's not technical parity, it is the sporting performance of the teams that race the car."
Former Holden pilot Paul Morris took to social media to declared Ford's domination could continue thanks to resources like the wind tunnel.
"Our car was signed off and homologated by Supercars ahead of the 2019 season, however whilst we understand these changes are in the interest of the sport, we expect to run the rest of the season on track unchanged from this specification," he wrote.