ZB Commodore test postponed due stone damage

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Extensive testing of the new ZB Holden Commodore has been postponed after the car sustained damage during a straight-line aerodynamic test.

Factory Holden team Triple Eight, who have developed the 2018 Supercars Championship challenger, were due to run the ZB Commodore in an Accredited Manufacturer test day this Thursday at Queensland Raceway.

That test has now been moved to a date proceeding the Gold Coast 600, after the underside of the car and key bodywork panels were peppered with stones in it’s most recent outing at at Stanthorpe Airport in Queensland.

The squad was conducting a crucial aerodynamic and straight-line speed test on Sunday and Monday along the Stanthorpe runway with Super2 driver Kurt Kostecki behind the wheel.

Triple Eight engineer and ZB Supercar head designer David Cauchi says that although the car got ‘stone blasted’, they achieved their targets at the test.

“The track temp at the airfield was quite hot and that meant that the sticky race tyres that we run on were ripping up some of the gravel on the tarmac of the runway and basically stone-blasted a lot of the panels on the car,” said Cauchi.

“All the damage is cosmetic, nothing that we can’t repair, but with the tight turnaround it was already going to be a really big push to do this test and prepare properly for Bathurst.

“With the extra workload of repairing the panels, we’ve decided to postpone it – the ACM test – until late October.”

Despite the setback, Cauchi reinforced that he has been impressed by the data recorded so far from the car’s initial runs.

“The car is in a very good window of where we thought it would be, which is positive,” added Cauchi.

“The changes we were making were matching the downforce numbers that we were predicting, so we feel like we have a good base car and a good bunch of tools to be able to tune the aero balance come the official Supercars aero test.

“There are a lot of people who’ve worked very hard behind the scenes, as well as going racing, so it was extremely rewarding to see the car on track.

“It’s come together really nicely, it’s very satisfying, but the job’s not done yet – what really matters is how the car performs on track, which we’ll see in the coming months.”