Gen3 Supercar aero set to reduce burnt feet issue

The Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro prototype. Picture: Matthew Paul Photography

Burnt feet is set to be a lesser issue when Supercars’ Gen3 era commences next year, in part due to aerodynamics.

Heat soak through the front firewall into the pedal box has been a not uncommon issue over the years, and became a talking point again last time out at the NTI Townsville 500.

Shane van Gisbergen was seen sometimes using his left foot for throttle on the main straight, which he put down to providing relief to his right, although the problem is hardly unique to Red Bull Ampol Racing.

The Gen2 Supercars which currently populate the grid feature a relatively long front undertray, whereas the Camaros and Mustangs which succeed them will not have one at all.

That change has been made in order to slash downforce, by somewhere in the region of 60 to 70 percent, and hence enhance racing.

However, there will be another, less obvious benefit, according to Supercars Head of Motorsport Adrian Burgess.

“There’s phenolic plates, different materials from the current pedal box to help reduce the heat soak, and help the drivers’ feet,” he told of how heat soak will be dealt with in Gen3.

“But probably the biggest thing with this car compared to the other car – some of the benefits of reducing all the aero – is we now don’t have the big undertray on the front bar.

“So, everything behind that – so, the engine bay, in the cabin – everything is running a lot cooler in this car than the current car.

“The heat soak back into the driver, what we’re experiencing so far is it’s far less with this car than the current car, so we’re not anticipating the drivers are going to have any issue in that area.”

Still, Supercars is not merely hoping for the best.

“It doesn’t mean we’re not still preparing for that,” added Burgess.

“There’s been a number of things that hopefully will help the driver comfort, the heat ingress into the car should be a lot less, we’re developing a good coolsuit system and helmet cooling system that will go in the car as part of what we ‘re doing [in testing].

“Hopefully the drivers don’t have the heat problem with their feet that they’ve had with the current car.”

Testing of the Gen3 prototypes continues with a full hour of track time this afternoon at The Bend Motorsport Park, where action in the Repco Supercars Championship resumes tomorrow.

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