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Supercars launches parity review

Supercars says a parity review has been officially triggered by the Chevrolet whitewash in Darwin last weekend.

Broc Feeney, Triple Eight Race Engineering Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

The Gen3 Camaro continued its dominant run at Hidden Valley, the GM product having been first across the line in all 15 races so far this season.

Race 2 in Darwin was particularly damning with Camaros making up the top nine – the first time since 1979 that a manufacturer has locked out so many positions in one race.

The Darwin results ramped up tension over parity with several Ford team bosses calling for action.

That action is now coming, with Supercars confirming this afternoon that a parity review has been officially triggered.

The trigger systems works on a complex analysis of lap times that is understood to cut out outliers – such as the fastest and slowest car from each brand.

Once it is triggered in at least five of eight races, or five consecutive, a review is unavoidable.

"Supercars confirms that a parity review has been triggered in accordance with the Supercars Championship regulations," read a statement from the series.

"The parity review system is designed to identify and evaluate any imbalances among the competing models. It works using the analysis of lap times across a number of races to determine whether a disparity exists.

"The threshold to trigger a review must be achieved consistently over either five consecutive races or five of eight championship races. These conditions were met following the final race in Darwin."

Parity has been a hot topic since the latter stages of Gen3 development, with emergency aero testing leading to a tweak to the Camaros on the eve of the season-opening Newcastle 500.

Since them much of the focus has been on engine performance as the Ford teams have seemingly struggled for drivability with the quadcam Ford V8.

That was initially thought to be causing issues with rear tyre life, however aero balance is now very much a talking point again and is likely to be a critical part of this review.

Supercars has traditionally avoided expensive wind tunnel work and instead assessed aero through CFD analysis and its own Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing (VCAT) process, which involves straight line running.

However the largely-controlled Gen3 cars are proving difficult to equalise, which means wind tunnel work may be considered.

Transient dyno testing is already being assessed to better understand the engine issues, with the existing parity systems used by Supercars seemingly not having done the job with two vastly different motors.

As it stands there is no clear indication of exactly what the parity review will entail, series CEO Shane Howard indicating that the homologation teams – Triple Eight for GM and Dick Johnson Racing for Ford – will be canvassed for ideas on adjustments.

“The parity review system has been a foundation of the parity assessment throughout the championship over many years," said Howard.

“Now that a review has been triggered, we have commenced the nominated process.

“Supercars have met and are working with both homologating teams to formulate appropriate recommendations for a parity adjustment.”

Supercars last dealt with a parity issue in-season following in 2019 following the introduction of the Gen2 Ford Mustang.

The Mustang's radical aero led to cuts on the Ford side and additions on the GM side such as a rear wing gurney flap for the Holden Commodores.

That was decided through CFD modelling, before the cars underwent VCAT testing at the end of 2019 ahead of the 2020 season.

That led to the restoration of parity between the two models for 2020, 2021 and 2022 before Gen3 was introduced.

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