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Supercars Hidden Valley

Supercars parity tensions grow after Chevrolet whitewash

There are growing concerns over the Supercars parity issue, and a fresh focus on aero, following a dominant weekend for the Chevrolet teams in Darwin.

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The 100 per cent winning streak continued for the Camaro across the weekend with Chevs filling the eight of the nine podium spots on offer across the three races.

Even more troubling was that the top nine cars in race 2 were Camaros while the brand was first across the line in the top five positions in race 3.

The only sign of hope for Ford was a pole and a fast start to race 1 for Cam Waters, whose race was then ruined by a spectacular engine fire.

That happened five laps into the race, which means it's impossible to know if his Mustang would have looked after its rear tyres well enough to win.

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Rear tyre life has been the primary issue for the Mustangs compared to the Camaros, with much of the recent focus on engine and drivability.

However the Darwin whitewash has added to concerns that this isn't just an engine issue, and that there is still disparity in terms of aero or aero balance.

"It's not drivability," Waters told Motorsport.com when asked his take on the parity issue.

"We've made improvements on the drivability front and obviously the engines aren't the same when you've got different gear cuts going on. It's more than just the engine.

"I guess all year, and even in the early testing, you could see [the Camaros] have got more rear [grip] and a bigger margin to work in.

"We're struggling. You see it in qualifying; some guys are up the front then down the back, they're not very consistent. And that's not just drivers making mistakes."

A number of Ford team bosses were spotted meeting in the pitlane after today's second race, with Tickford CEO Tim Edwards, Grove Racing team principal David Cauchi, Walkinshaw Andretti United team principal Bruce Stewart and WAU tech guru Carl Faux all locked in conversation.

According to Edwards, the exact cause of the disparity is hard to pin down – but the lack of competitiveness of the Mustang is obvious.

"There certainly seems to be a lot more yellow on the timing screens at the top compared to blue on the timing screen at the top," said Edwards.

"There was only five cars that were 1m07s on that race and none of them had a blue box next to them.

"Who would know [why]? We don't know. All we've got is results and lap time information. We don't have access to aero data, we don't have access to dyno data. We don't have access to any of that stuff, so you're asking the wrong people.

"We can have opinions, but we're sitting there as bemused as you are.

"We've got teams that finished second, third, fourth and fifth in the teams' championship last year that are being smashed at the moment. The top teams in the championships, bar one, are P-nowhere.

"We're as frustrated and bemused as the public are at the moment, because we don't know why we're not competitive."

Stewart said the Ford teams are working together on identifying the solution and any lobbying that needs to be done with Supercars and its technical department.

"The numbers speak for themselves," he said.

"Clearly we discuss our thoughts and we share more than we would normally do, because there is a level of frustration. So any plans, or anything we're going to do, that's our own business at the moment."

Stewart added that efforts such as Waters' pole shouldn't be seen as a sign of parity, given how many Ford drivers have been struggling for pace.

"Every Ford teams can have outliers of someone who jags a great lap and sits at the top," he said.

"But the real story is the quantity of quality drivers that you see floating into mediocrity, which is not where they are telling lies.

"Ultimately the fans want to see their heroes and the people with great talent float to the top. It just seems... confusing."

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