Aerodynamic parity adjustments for the Ford Mustang were the product of a winless situation for the Supercars, according to Craig Lowndes.
Last week, the category announced that Mustang would run a revised aerodynamic package for this weekend's Pirtek Perth SuperNight following a lengthy parity debate that dominated the start of the season.
Ford's latest Supercar weapon has been at the center of the debate after an early flight to the campaign that created agitation in the paddock and triggered an in-depth parity investigation conducted by the D2H Engineering series and external partner.
This has resulted in changes in the center of gravity of the car and aerodynamics to ensure there is technical parity in the Ford, Holden and Nissan models that the Supercars achieved by promulgating their own A1.4 rule (See below) that allows changes to be made if there is a disparity.
The latest airframes in the wing rear panels, the wing flap and the underside of the body caused a stir as the Mustang airfield was signed by Supercars and the Supercars Commission late last year.
Triple Eight enduro driver and television commentator for Fox Sports Lowndes shares the frustration with the current situation and admits that the approval process requires more work.
However, he believes Supercars found himself in a situation where they are "convicted if they do and convicted if they do not" in relation to making changes to the Mustang.
"Is it true that we are doing what could be a significant change in the history of 2019, a third of the way to a season? Yes and no, "wrote Lowndes in his last Red Bull column.
"It's a tricky discussion to start with, but the frustration for everyone is why the category is doing this homologation with the new Aero now … the beginning of the process is what needs more work, I think.
"I understand that when a car is stationary, there needs to be a few rounds so that the independent group the Supercars can use to properly assess and analyze the advantage that a car, in this case Mustang, can have and adjust. if necessary, as they have in this case.
"I would feel the same way if it was the ZB Commodore last year as well. But where the category looks bad is that the Mustang was gone, and maybe the process before a car goes off needs to be more complete.
"Something like that, a change after a car has won 90% of the races, creates a winless situation for the category. You are damned if you do something, but equally damned if you do not.
"Let's say Mustang wins both races in Perth this weekend – there will be people saying that the changes have not gone far enough.
"If Ford does not win any races then the talk will be that the changes have gone too far and this will lessen the achievement of any other manufacturer that wins.
"I feel for Ford fans, and it's frustrating because there's a process at the beginning of everything, and if you get a homologated car earlier this year, that's what you should stay for.
"The other side that is not good for the category is that we always talk about cost savings and the teams can be financially better … now, all Ford teams that have done all the testing and have spent time developing a car. which had been literally needed to start over.
Television analyst Mark Larkham has backed Supercar's request to make mid-season aerodynamic changes.
"This is for me the right choice," Larkham said on the Network 10 program. RPM.
"As much as I hate to say it, because I'm a Ford guy, it's about objective measurement of performance.
"So forget the excitement, I know a lot of people are very emotional about it, there's a lot of money stuck in the sport (and) there are a lot of fans.
"I love the fact that there are a lot of passionate fans, but at the end of the day, it's about objective measurement of performance.
"When you look at those and I have it, that's right.
"So, go back to rule A1.4, which is actually there, so the Supercars team analyzes time data, (and) they use computer fluid dynamics (CFD), to look at some of the air flows over the cars in the real world on a race track.
"That's how they created this change in Mustang. It's evidence-based.
Team member and team owner Brad Jones also emphasized that these latest changes are not designed to stop Mustang from winning races but to ensure that races remain at a high level.
"It's not about stopping the Mustang from winning races, that's not the intention, it's making our races as good as they ever were and just trying to get it right," Jones said in the Fox Sports podcast. The high pedal.
"It's the first time this type of car is admitted to the series and we want two more doors and more manufacturers, so I think they (Supercars) are adjusting the car smoothly along the way so they do not switch on. and we think Mustang is not competitive.
The revised Mustang will hit the track for the first time at Thursday's opening practice at Barbagallo Wanneroo Raceway starting in 1840 local time.
Supercars Operations Manual Excerpt
A1.4 technical parity
1.4.1 The Supercar Category is a category of technical parity.
1.4.2 The supercar category is supported by the governing principle that, to the extent possible, competition will occur between different makes and models of cars, as equalized by the technical parity mechanisms enshrined in the Rules.
1.4.3 The technical parity mechanisms used include, but are not limited to:
220.127.116.11 Rigorously applied technical specifications and approval requirements; and
18.104.22.168 Aerodynamic equalization and
22.214.171.124 Use of wide category control parts.
1.4.4 The Category is not about equalization of the skills of the Participating Drivers and / or Teams. It is up to individual drivers and / or teams to compete to the best of their ability under the principle of technical parity.
1.4.5 Whenever possible, Supercars will use its best efforts to ensure a level playing field for all makes and models of competing cars, specifically in the following areas:
126.96.36.199 Total aerodynamic force
188.8.131.52 Aerodynamic balance for downward force
184.108.40.206 Aerodynamic Drag
220.127.116.11 Engine Power
18.104.22.168 Fuel Consumption
1.4.6 The Commission of Supercars, on the recommendation of the HoM, may, at its discretion, order at any time during the Season that a review of parity between all makes and models of Cars be performed.
22.214.171.124 The results of any parity review shall be referred to the Commission of Supercars by the HoM;
126.96.36.199 If, in the opinion of the Supercar Commission, there is a significant disparity between one or more of the makes and models of cars competing in the Championship, it will ask HoM to develop a time-parity adjustment program. available to address the disparity identified and which may, among other things, include the requirement to develop, test and re-certify components that will be effective in correcting the identified disparity.