New Sirromet Wines VY Commodore well underway.
TUESDAY, JANUARY 7: The new Sirromet Wines VY Holden Commodore to be raced by Paul Morris in this year's V8 Supercar Championship should be fully assembled by the first week in February.
Morris said all components for the VY model had been built, apart from the aerodynamic package currently being finalised by championship organisers AVESCO under the 'Project Blueprint' concept aimed at ensuring parity between the Holdens and Ford Falcons in the 13-round series.
The 35-year-old said the bodyshell and roll-cage of the new Sirromet Wines Commodore featuring wishbone front suspension had been completed and assembled at the Paul Morris Motorsports workshop, located at the Holden Performance Driving Centre on the Gold Coast.
Morris said his team was on schedule to assemble the remainder of the car, apart from the aerodynamic package, within three weeks of returning to work in mid-January after the Festive Season break.
"We made a decision to start building the new VY as early as we could, and we expect to have everything assembled by early next month," he said.
"So far the body shell and roll-cage are together, and all the various parts were built before we went on holidays just before Christmas."
"Our engine development program is well advanced, and we'll be going into the new season as well organised and prepared as possible."
Work on the team's VY Commodore, designed by technical manager Paul Ceprnich, began in September and to date has occupied an estimated 700-manhours.
"We've designed and built everything ourselves, apart from the (Holinger) gearbox, (AP) brakes, and the Harrop running gear," said Morris.
The VY Commodore is the third V8 Supercar built by the team, following Ceprnich-designed VX models raced by Morris in the past two years.
Ceprnich said the manufacturing techniques used on the VY Holden were different to those adopted on the two VX models. He said there was a greater concentration on utilising Computer Aided Design-Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAD-CAM) technology.
"This is out third 'in-house' built car, and we've used CAD-CAM a lot more than before, which saves construction time," said Ceprnich. "We now have the complete car fully three-dimensionally modelled."
Morris said he would commence testing in the VY Commodore as soon as possible once the aerodynamic package was finalised by AVESCO.
He said the team was also converting one of its existing VX Holdens to VY-specification with the wishbone front suspension.
"This will give us another option in back-to-back testing, and we can better evaluate what works best," said Morris.
The championship begins with the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide on March 22-23. Before that the V8 Supercar teams will compete in non-championship support races at the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park in Melbourne from March 7-9.
Morris' V8 Supercar Championship record includes winning the round at Calder Park in Melbourne in 2001.