In a show of force, many of the leading teams of the upcoming 2018 V8 Supercars season ran-in their new machinery on the first official track-test day. Not just for media purposes, this was a green-run of new chassis and engines, transmissions and gear of leading drivers and teams. It was the first run, of a long season that begins March 1-4 on the streets of Adelaide.
New Machinery for drivers on 2018 V8 Supercars track-test day
The rewards from this track-test day at Queensland Raceway are wide ranging. As any engineer will tell you, assembling a race car is only 50% of the task. Testing and ‘wearing in machinery’ is critical, to learning the strengths and weaknesses of new equipment.
And new equipment it is. The Holden ZB is an especially new chassis, which defending champion Jamie Whincup and his Red Bull Holden Australia team are certainly focused on testing. Team mate Shane van Gisbergen also took his new #97 through a series of test-runs that will help prepare the team before Adelaide.
Alongside the 888 (Triple Eight) engineered machinery, were principal customers Tekno Racing. Their new driver Jack le Brocq was putting his new ZB through its paces, with some laps offered to Team owner Jonathan Webb, to benefit his confidence.
Holden drivers are less accustomed to the machinery they will use this season. The virgin territory is critical, for both running in equipment, running gear and in building confidence in the design changes made.
Opposing them are drivers of the Falcon FG X chassis. The developed design is going to mean many teams already have engineering data that puts them slightly ahead of their Holden rivals. Although the polarity of controlled equipment might bring those groups closer together, before the March deadline.
Runner-Up Scott McLaughlin is the Driver to Beat
As Last Word on Motorsport watched the Newcastle race unfold, leading Ford driver Scott McLaughlin lost his championship advantage in spectacular style. Enough to hand Jamie Whincup his seventh championship, and show his youthful faults. However, on the eve of the 2018 V8 Supercar championship, many will say that the V-Power Shell Racing driver has an edge on his rivals.
— Shell V-Power Racing (@DJRTeamPenske) February 8, 2018
The Falcon FG X is similar to their 2017 car, not a Generation 1 car. So he and team mate Fabian Coulthard can assume their development information from least year is accurate, rather than requiring new data. Unlike Whincup, the ‘blue oval’ may have an edge earlier – until cars are placed upon the Adelaide race track.
At that moment, it is up to the drivers and times elapsed on the race track.
Then again, anything is possible in V8 Supercars. By the time March rolls around, it will be ‘raw data territory’ as drivers all lay down their first rubber for the 2018 season.
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