Mustang was a 'rude shock' for Supercars – Dane

Triple Eight boss Roland Dane says the Ford Mustang was a "rude shock" for Supercars when it arrived in its original form to start the 2019 season.

Mustang was a 'rude shock' for Supercars – Dane

Designed, developed and homologated by Ford Performance and DJR Team Penske, the Mustang caused a well-publicised stir when it burst onto the Supercars scene last year.

Despite passing the category's homologation aero testing, known as VCAT, concerns over a perceived advantage led to the Mustang having its wings clipped after four rounds.

By then Supercars had already mandated centre-of-gravity changes, the Mustang forced to move 28 kilograms to the roofline compared to less than seven kilograms for the Holden.

More aero changes came later in the year, the Holdens granted updates before the Hidden Valley and New Zealand rounds, before the category underwent two lots of a refined VCAT process over the off-season.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Rusty's Garage podcast, Dane labelled the introduction of the two-door Mustang as a "rude shock" to the existing Supercars parity system.

“At the end of 2018 there was an aero test, and the other side turned up with a car that was just so radically different from anything that had been done before," explained Dane.

"We knew we were on the back foot. But because Supercars as a category had never been placed in this position – or certainly in the 16 years that I had been around – they didn’t really know how to deal with it. Which is totally different to how the landscape had been for the Ford versus Holden fight all the time I had been in Australia.

“I would never say there hadn’t been differences, but they were so small that other things had been more important – the team, the driver, etc.

"It was a rude shock to the system. It was a rude shock to Supercars and the teams that we suddenly had this inequity.

Read Also:

“To their credit, [Supercars] dealt with the centre of gravity problem straight away. We’d been asking and asking and asking and asking, but they dealt with it as quickly as they practically could.

"The aero side was more complicated. We had a couple of false dawns. We knew what needed to be done to put us in the same ballpark."

That, says Dane, was the new Gurney flap that was introduced ahead of the Pukekohe round, T8 drivers going on to win eight of the 10 races to close out the season.

"We’d even gone to the aero test the beginning of December in 2018 with the Gurney that we then ran later in the year," Dane said.

"We had gone with it, we had never tested it, but we’d gone with it because we said to Supercars ‘we should have this in the toolbox in case we need it’ having looked at the pictures of the Mustang at Queensland Raceway.

“That’s exactly the part that went on the car at Pukekohe. When we put it on at Pukekohe, we had never had it on a car before.

“We thought that might be the fix that we needed and it certainly put us back in the ballpark.

"But the politics along the way, to be honest, almost destroyed the sport.”

shares
comments
Two Supercars documentaries in the works for 2020

Previous article

Two Supercars documentaries in the works for 2020

Next article

Whincup details F1-style steering wheel

Whincup details F1-style steering wheel
Load comments
How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention Prime

How Randle went from fighting cancer to battling for Supercars contention

After his fledgling career was paused by a battle with testicular cancer, Thomas Randle then had to wrestle with finding a drive in Supercars after he got the all-clear. It's been a long road for the Melbourne native but, after two lengthy battles, he's finally got a full-time drive to look forward to

Supercars
Jun 29, 2021
How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle Prime

How crisis talks over Supercars’ Gen3 future could leave it without a paddle

With Supercars’ Gen3 era on the horizon, a shift is set to take place – in more ways than one – but, as has become clear in recent weeks, the plan to bin the stick and use paddles with electronic assisted shift has been met with fierce opposition

Supercars
May 24, 2021
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