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Driver discomfort forces Supercars Gen3 chassis changes

Supercars' Gen3 prototypes are undergoing significant changes to alleviate driver discomfort issues.

Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering

Following a flurry of outings at Queensland Raceway so far this year, the prototype testing phase for the next-gen Supercars is currently on hold.

Scheduled appearances for the Camaro and Mustang at Winton late last month and at this weekend's season-opener at Sydney Motorsport Park have have been called off.

The initial delay in the testing programme was officially blamed on the cars needing to be fitted with a mechanical gear shift system, after plans for paddle shift and Auto Gear Shift were dumped.

However, as first flagged by Motorsport.com when the Winton test was called off, driver discomfort is another issue that has contributed to the break.

According to well-placed sources, complaints of driver discomfort have been consistent throughout the testing process so far.

Taller drivers such as Shane van Gisbergen have been worst affected, but far from alone in voicing concerns over ergonomics.

The issues reportedly range from leg room to the angle that the driver has thus far been sitting in the new-spec cars.

Supercars has now confirmed that changes to the ergonomics are currently being made based on feedback from early testing.

What the series hasn't confirmed is the extent of the changes, however Motorsport.com understands it includes alterations to the control chassis, the initial design of which was led by Triple Eight.

“While the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang are in the workshop having the fully manual sequential gear change mechanism installed, they will undergo ergonomic changes,' said a Supercars spokesperson in a statement provided to Motorsport.com.

“These include changes to the drivers seating position and steering wheel placement based on feedback from initial testing of the prototypes by a range of different Supercars’ drivers.

“Both the Camaro and Mustang will return to the track for further testing at the NED Whisky Tasmania SuperSprint later this month."

Should the cars be ready for the Symmons Plains event as planned, it will mark just their first proper outing outside of Queensland Raceway.

They did appear at Mount Panorama during the Bathurst 1000 last December, but were in a much earlier phase of development, particularly in terms of suspension and the GM motor.

Supercars plans on running the cars at most events this year alongside its testing programme.

A full field of Gen3 cars will then make their competitive debut at the opening round of the 2023 season.

Supercars is spearheading the Gen3 programme, supported by homologation teams Triple Eight (GM) and Dick Johnson Racing (Ford).

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