Promoting grid parity in Australian Supercars Championship

Advanced Technologies

Promoting grid parity in Australian Supercars Championship

The Supercars Championship is known for its thrilling racing, derived from a simple ethos: on each race day the best driver & team combination can win. This ensures privateers have an equal chance of competing against the homologated manufacturer teams, and delivers the exciting and unpredictable racing that’s expected by the series fans. 

When the organisers needed help to promote technical parity throughout the grid, we updated the pre-season testing regime and developed new systems to ensure the racing stayed on the track. 

The result, delivered within a punishingly tight timeframe, was a redesigned Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing (VCAT) process combined with the introduction of a D2H-developed active ride-height control system, ensuring continued performance parity and closely-fought racing. 

In a championship where drivetrain and chassis components are closely monitored, the aerodynamic advantages inherent in the design of differing bodyshells can skew conditions to favour one team over another. D2H’s challenge was to update the VCAT process using best-in-class technology to keep pace with aerodynamic developments and eliminate undue competitive advantage.

Our solution was developed after a full spectrum of aerodynamic simulation and analysis including computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to consider every aspect of vehicle set-up. In fact, the accuracy of our simulations allowed us to anticipate aspects of each car’s performance prior to physical track testing, thereby reducing the VCAT process from ten days to three days, delivering significant cost and time savings to competitors.

As part of the redevelopment of the VCAT process, we designed and manufactured a ride-height control system for the two manufacturer homologation teams that, by actively adjusting the test vehicles’ ride height, ensured absolute uniformity of the vehicle set-up.

Performing the updated VCAT with our own team of engineers and our own data capture allowed us to corroborate our findings and, with the data shared with all participants for further analysis, ensured clarity and transparency. 

The revised VCAT process ensured a level playing field for all competitors regardless of budget, and highlighted the importance of aerodynamics and rigorous analysis.

The benefits were felt not just by the drivers and their teams, but by the sport’s loyal fans who demand entertaining racing. 

“We were keen for VCAT to encourage data sharing so that it was not only the two homologated teams involved which would benefit from physical testing. The aim is to accelerate the learning curve of all teams – whatever their budget – achieving parity and ensuring that the team which makes best use of available data can support its drivers to the fullest degree.

“It’s important that, come race day, privateers can have a shot against the homologated manufacturer teams which provides closer, more thrilling and unpredictable racing.”

– Adrian Burgess
Australia Supercars head of motorsport