Ilmor on standby to help with Gen3 Supercars engines
Ilmor Engineering in the USA is on standby to help Supercars paritise its new Gen3-spec V8 engines if needed.
The category is set to shift from using expensive bespoke pushrod Ford and Chevrolet V8s to what will be specifically-tuned versions of crate motors as part of its Gen3 rules.
It's been confirmed that the Mustangs will be powered by a 5.4-litre version of the DOHC Ford Aluminator, while it's expected, but not confirmed, that the Camaros will run a motor based on the 5.7-litre pushrod LS series.
The two engines are currently being developed in Australia, Mostech in charge of the Ford unit and KRE the GM unit.
While Supercars has expressed confidence it can find parity between vastly different motors, it does have an ace up its sleeve to ensure the playing field is level.
And that's Ilmor Engineering in Plymouth, Michigan, which has been engaged to help support the Gen3 engine programme.
It's not yet clear how hands-on Ilmor will be, Supercars yet to decide whether motors will be shipped to the USA for testing.
That will depend how much headway on parity can be made on Aussie soil, leaving Ilmor in kind of a standby role for now.
"Our parity process for the engines, in our opinion, is very good," said Supercars' Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess.
"We don’t see or we don’t feel we have any problems with it. These processes are constantly being reviewed and when the architecture of the engines and everything is confirmed, then we’ll ensure that we have the right measures in place.
"We have spoken to Ilmor. Obviously, they’re a very well established business. Certain members in our organisation have got good relationships with Ilmor. Ilmor are there for us to use should we need to.
"They have got a very impressive facility and a very impressive suite of tests and processes that they could bring to the party, so they’re there and ready to work with us should we need to use their facility.
"If we feel we’ve got two engines and we cant fix any differences that we see in them ourselves, with the equipment and the people we have got in Australia, then we’ll certainly go to America and finish the job, so to speak, using Ilmor’s facility.
"But I think first of all we need to understand the two engines that are presented. Then should we need to go [to Ilmor], then we have the ability to go there."
Supercars CEO Sean Seamer added: I think it’s fair to say that Ilmor are supporting us on Gen3. What hardware transfers over what ocean is yet to be determined. Adrian and the team have been in dialogue with them and tapping into those resources as required.
"We’re recutting our timeline with Ilmor at the moment. But irrespective of whether we or hardware is physically there in the US, yes, Adrian and his team are in ongoing dialogue with them."
Burgess also touched on the exhaust note for the new motors, amid fears they may sound flat compared to the current units.
He's confident that a pleasing note is more than achievable, the example being the Aussie-built MARC Mustang that's powered by a crate Ford V8.
"It’s a bit hard to say yet, but the induction noise will be less with a single throttle body as opposed to the individual ram tubes that we have now," he explained.
“Our intention is to make sure they sound as good as they look. It’s an important part of what the fans want to see and we want to see, so we’re ready to influence the exhaust system as and where and when we need to to make sure we have two cars that sound great.
But until we get them on the track, it’s a little bit early for me to give you any details of what we’ll do. But we know it’s a key deliverable that we want to deliver on.
"If you listen to a MARC car or something that runs a Coyote, they don’t sound too dissimilar from what we have at the moment. You’re not talking a V12 against a V8 or anything like that."
Prototype testing on the Gen3 cars is meant to kick off this August ahead of a competitive debut of the new rules midway through the 2022 season.
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