After a pandemic, three delays, and fixed questions on whether or not the vehicles would ever hit the observe – lastly, the brand new period of Supercars has begun.
There have been loads of nervous faces in pit lane because the new-look Ford Mustang and all-new Chevrolet Camaro rolled out for the primary observe on Friday.
The class’s CEO even urged he’d shed a tear.
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The long-awaited, seriously-hyped Gen3 period promised rather a lot, however did its debut dwell as much as expectations?
Here is the nice, the dangerous, and the ugly from the Newcastle 500 season-opener.
ON TRACK: As unusual as it would sound, having all 25 vehicles on the Newcastle grid was an achievement in itself.
Proper or fallacious, many doubted the vehicles could be prepared for 2023 amid provide points.
Between the idea’s inception and its rollout, the world went by means of a pandemic, struggle broke out in Europe, personnel and philosophies modified, and the price of uncooked supplies and freight skyrocketed, making the $250,000 turn-key racer thought nearer to a few occasions that.
Even when the vehicles weren’t absolutely cooked – lacking dashboards within the case of the Ford Mustang and in-car adjustable anti-roll bars throughout each fashions – merely getting the vehicles on observe was purpose sufficient to rejoice.
Maybe the most important vote of confidence got here on the finish of Saturday afternoon when virtually all 25 vehicles crossed the road with no mechanical points to talk of.
PARITY: Within the lead-up to the occasion, there was loads of parity chat. Would the Camaro have a bonus over the Mustang, as many had thought could be the case?
By the top of the weekend, the P-word was hardly thrown about, and if it was, it was largely in a optimistic mild – albeit, with a tinge of warning hooked up.
The actual check will come on the quicker circuits the place the aerodynamic stability of the 2 vehicles is put to the check.
SHAKEN NOT STIRRED: Coming into the season-opener, many hoped the pecking order would get shaken up.
Unsurprisingly, the powerhouse that’s Triple Eight Race Engineering dominated the roost, by and enormous.
Nonetheless, it was encouraging to see Erebus Motorsport snag the primary pole place and bonafide mid-fielders PremiAir Racing contending for prime 5 finishes.
SAME SAME, BUT DIFFERENT: All informed, the vehicles seemed good and sounded good and had been unmistakably nonetheless Supercars.
Better of all, the vehicles seemed powerful to tame. There was loads of tail wagging and vehicles lacking apexes lap after lap.
The previous Gen2 vehicles had been so refined that errors had been few and much between. Newcastle confirmed these new Gen3 vehicles are a handful, and for the most effective.
ZIP IT, CHAMP: A cloud has hung over Gen3 from the primary assessments to its rollout.
Amongst these not eager to remark has been three-time champion Shane van Gisbergen.
Behind the scenes, he is been crucial and infrequently hesitant to speak concerning the new vehicles.
Maybe considering there was security in numbers, he opened up after Saturday’s race and some shortcomings of a brand new automotive – which clearly did not go down effectively.
Van Gisbergen copped the brunt of a twig from Supercars as did some journalists, who wrote tales perceived to be destructive.
TEETHING TROUBLE: With any new automotive, finger hassle is an inevitability.
Dick Johnson Racing struggled with recurring clutch points whereas a number of different groups struggled to get wheels to seat correctly on the hub, usually costing worthwhile time in qualifying.
PremiAir Racing had been hit hardest with podium contender Tim Slade left stranded within the pit lane through the first race for greater than a minute with a caught wheel.
HOT AIR: One of many key targets with Gen3 was to permit vehicles to comply with shut to at least one one other by lowering general downforce and decreased aerodynamic turbulence.
As champion Shane van Gisbergen defined, the Dunlop tyres nonetheless undergo from overheating when following a automotive in entrance.
His feedback did not go down effectively with Supercars. Reviews point out journalists had been known as by Supercars shareholder Mark Skaife, who complained about destructive press following Saturday’s race.
Nonetheless, there have been encouraging indicators all through the race with vehicles in a position to comply with each other at shut quarters – relative to the Gen2 vehicles at the least.
DRIVER INTROS: Saturday’s try at a grid stroll that featured driver intros was awkward, to say the least.
Unwell-timing and drivers mired amongst one another and the followers made for a messy begin to proceedings.
The idea was there, however the execution was poor.
PODIUM NO SHOW: After successful the primary race, Shane van Gisbergen was notably absent when his identify was known as.
Teammate Broc Feeney put his arm up as if to hug the ghost of van Gisbergen, who was nowhere to be seen. Greater than a minute later, he made his approach up onto the podium.
GRAPHICS GLITCH: With a brand new automotive got here a brand new graphics package deal to the published.
It wasn’t all easy crusing although. The obvious glitch made studying names tough initially (pictured above) – a problem that was mounted by the second day.
Different odd points included driver names being spelt fallacious, having the fallacious producer subsequent to names, or numbers like “twenty third” studying “23th”.
Qualifying was significantly tough to comply with with graphics not registering a brand new lap time had been set.
Maybe worst of all was when the graphics disappeared totally.
DOUBLE DSQ: Triple Eight’s as-yet unresolved disqualification from race one took the shine off what ought to have been the celebration of the brand new Supercars period.
Because it stands, Cameron Waters has the race one trophy in hand, however an attraction from Triple Eight may see that silverware returned.
On the very least, the controversy will maintain Supercars within the limelight to some extent within the three weeks between Newcastle and the System 1 Australian Grand Prix.
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