Gearshift issue causing Whincup's straightline speed woes

Triple Eight suspects it was a gearshift issue, not an engine problem, that left Jamie Whincup unhappy with his straightline speed at the Symmons Plains Supercars round.

Gearshift issue causing Whincup's straightline speed woes

The seven-time champion referenced problems with pace down the Tasmanian circuit's long back straight after qualifying 13th for Sunday's race, hinting that he may have carried an engine issue throughout the weekend.

However his T8 crew is adamant the issue is related to electronics surrounding the gearshift, perhaps caused by the new-for-2019 control ECU, rather than a lack of horsepower.

"It's not an engine thing," said T8 team manager Mark Dutton.

"We weren't as happy with our gearshifts as we'd like to be, which is ultra frustrating as that should be a given, something that at the level you're at, isn't a topic.

"But it was, it was costing us time.

"Generally in these instances you'd think it's more on the electronics side. There are changes in the ECU package from last year to this year, so we need to go over it and make sure we're on top of everything.

"Engine side it felt fine, our mapping was really good, so, yeah, it's annoying."

Read Also:

Dutton added that a Friday night engine change for car #88 was strictly precautionary, the team opting for a lower milage unit as a reaction to Shane van Gisbergen's failure at Albert Park, rather than any specific feedback from Whincup.

"If anything Jamie reckons his Friday engine was stronger," said Dutton.

"It was just trying to minimum the risk. It was case of 'this engine has low milage, so let's put it in for this double header'.

"Because of the issue we had with Shane at the Grand Prix, it was a matter of keeping engine milage to a bare minimum."

Dutton said it would be crucial to get on top of the issue before this weekend's Phillip Island round, given that it was both costly in terms of pace and engineering resource during limited practice time.

"With the practice sessions, there's only some much testing you can do within a session," he said.

"You try a few things, but then you've got to be ready to do the quick lap to prepare for quali. So we're not 100 per cent on top of that.

"You don't want to be thinking about it. You don't want to put the time in... if it's an issue of course you put the time in, but spending energy on that makes it harder for the engineers to look at going around the corners faster.

"It's as simple as that. That's how it's hurting us in two ways."

Whincup recovered to fifth in Sunday's race at Symmons Plains, however last place on Saturday thanks to a Lap 2 clash with Chaz Mostert saw him drop to third in the standings, 160 points behind leader Scott McLaughlin.

shares
comments
Rival teams may have to take Mustang "year of pain" – Walkinshaw

Previous article

Rival teams may have to take Mustang "year of pain" – Walkinshaw

Next article

Holden teams waiting on Phillip Island for Mustang comparisons

Holden teams waiting on Phillip Island for Mustang comparisons
Load comments
Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske? Prime

Can DJR still be a Supercars powerhouse after Penske?

Roger Penske's whirlwind Australian Supercars sojourn is over. After six seasons, three drivers' titles, three teams' championships and a Bathurst 1000 crown, The Captain has sold his controlling stake in Dick Johnson Racing back to the squad and walked away from the category.

Supercars
Feb 26, 2021
Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader? Prime

Can Whincup be Triple Eight's ruthless leader?

Supercars' most successful team of the past 15 years is set for a radical shakeup next year when Jamie Whincup retires from driving and takes over the reins at Triple Eight. But does he have what it takes to be the new Roland Dane?

Supercars
Feb 8, 2021
How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year Prime

How a lifetime Supercars deal broke down in one year

David Reynolds inked what was effectively a lifetime deal with Erebus in 2019 – only to walk out a year later. What went wrong?

Supercars
Dec 18, 2020
Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester" Prime

Why Supercars now needs a new "human salt harvester"

Scott McLaughlin has been a controversial figure in Supercars over the past few years but, as he heads off to a fresh challenge in IndyCar, the Australian tin-top series needs to find someone else to fill his drama-filled boots as the category enters a new era...

Supercars
Nov 3, 2020
Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title Prime

Why 2020 isn't McLaughlin's greatest title

Scott McLaughlin was quick to describe his third Supercars title as his best yet. But even though it didn't match the dramatic backstory of his 2018 triumph, there's a good reason for him wanting to control the narrative this time around.

Supercars
Oct 2, 2020
Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars Prime

Why a Bathurst finale is risky business for Supercars

The Bathurst Grand Final may provide Supercars its greatest spectacle yet – but there's a risk it will force the series to face a hard truth.

Supercars
Sep 4, 2020
Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver Prime

Why Scott McLaughlin must become an IndyCar driver

Scott McLaughlin, two-time and current Supercars champion, should have been making his NTT IndyCar Series debut for Team Penske at the GP of Indianapolis, but the Covid-19 pandemic forced a rescheduling that has put the brakes on his career switch. But David Malsher-Lopez explains why the New Zealander deserves this opportunity as soon as possible.

IndyCar
Jul 4, 2020
Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney Prime

Tickford's 10-year wait for James Courtney

When the Supercars season resumes James Courtney will be a Tickford Racing driver – but it's not the first time the star driver has flirted with the famous Ford squad.

Supercars
May 19, 2020