The Australian touring car series has scrapped plans for a sensational mid-season introduction of its all-new car next year.Instead a more conventional roll-out of the next-generation hardware will take place ahead of the opening round of the 2023 season.
In a statement, Supercars pinned this latest Gen3 delay on factors such as international supply delays and local lockdowns caused by the pandemic.
“Supercars has today confirmed the introduction of the Gen3 programme will be delayed to the opening event of 2023,” the statement read.
“Factors outside the control of Supercars, including the ongoing challenges with international supply chains and domestic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are among the major contributing factors.
“Lockdowns in various states which have forced Supercars to condense its racing programme over the final three months of 2021, have also limited the Gen3 testing programme as originally planned.
“Supercars has arrived at this decision following consultation with key stakeholders including [naming rights backer] Repco, Ford, General Motors and Supercars’ broadcast partners.”
Pace Innovations Gen3 prototype Ford Mustang Supercars chassis
Photo by: Supercars
The statement also confirmed that the Gen3 prototypes will be unveiled on the Friday of this year’s Bathurst 1000 ahead of a number of on-track appearances across next season.
“The manufacturers’ respective homologation teams (Triple Eight Race Engineering and Dick Johnson Racing) continue to forge ahead with the development of the prototypes and Gen3 cars are on track to be unveiled on Friday 3rd of December, during this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000,” read the statement.
“Supercars, General Motors and Ford remain committed to rolling out Gen3 and the introduction of the Camaro and the Mustang.
“Throughout the course of 2022, fans will see the first-ever Gen3 race car come to life ahead of the programme’s racing debut.
“Cars will conduct significant on-track exhibitions and testing at many of Supercars’ events next year.”
The delay means a reprieve for the Holden Commodore, the famous nameplate getting an additional half-season of racing before being replaced by the Chevrolet Camaro.
It may also facilitate an immediate introduction of the latest-spec Ford Mustang which is due in 2023.
This is the third delay to the Gen3 rules, which were originally planned to take effect for the 2021 season.
That plan was ditched back in September 2019, with the timeline shifted back to the start of the 2022 season.
After much speculation of further delays earlier this year, Supercars then pushed the introduction back to August 2022, however that too was quickly met with cynicism from parts of the paddock.
As recently as last month team owner Matt Stone publicly predicted the rules would be delayed until 2023.
The new-spec cars will be a completely new platform to the existing cars, with a lower chassis better suited to two-door coupes.
A less bespoke, more cost-effective engine package is currently being developed, while the transition to a complete control suspension package will be completed.