You tell em Brad
As the OzEmail Racing Team prepare for round 7 of the Shell Championship Series at Melbourne’s Calder Park Raceway this weekend, team owner/driver, Brad Jones has spoken out on his views on the current rules for testing in the highly competitive V8 Supercar category.
“The V8 Supercars championship is now the most competitive touring car category in the world. One of the reasons for this has been the adoption of parity regulations that have kept both the Ford and Holden race cars of equal performance. But one of the things that has been forgotten is the parity amongst the teams, particularly with test sessions,” said Jones, strongly.
“Our sport is no different to other elite sports, the more you practice, the better you get but in our sport you can only practice 12 times a year,” he added.
Around 4 years ago, it was decided by governing body to restrict test sessions for Level 1 V8 Supercars to 12 per team in a bid to reduce running costs and make racing more competitive by not allowing big budget teams to complete unlimited testing.
“I think the principles of this are fine but there are major flaws. The current system unfairly benefits teams that field multiple cars. Take TWR (HRT and K-Mart Racing) for example. They will take up to 5 cars to a single test session day and from there they have the opportunity to test 5 different areas in each one of their race cars. This allows them to test, say the shocks in one car, the engine in another and then spend time developing brakes in a third,” Jones elaborated.
“By comparison, we have only one car and we have no choice but to test every facet and therefore only get up to a fifth of the test results than the multiple car teams. It also could be argued that it is more important for developing teams like ours to have the opportunity to work more on improvements than the teams that are consistently running at the front of the field”.
The OzEmail Racing Team are currently working desperately on improving the qualifying speed of their OzEmail Falcon and see actual time testing the car as a vital ingredient in overcoming their below expected starting grid positions this year.
“I believe there is a effective solution that will both, give teams like ours the opportunity to develop further and provide a further gain in the competitiveness of V8 Supercars. Simply, the first 12 cars in the championship get the same amount of test days. If you finish 13th to 17th you get 17 test days, 18th to 22nd you get 22 days and after that it's unlimited,” Jones concluded.