Gen3 engine durability testing target under tight deadline
Plans to run durability tests on Supercars’ Gen3 engines will be more about understanding the product than revising it, given a rapidly tightening schedule.
Global delays in being able to source parts have been problematic throughout the development phase, and it has now reached the point where General Motors 5.7-litre and Ford 5.4-litre engines will come to pretty much on the trail in 2023 as is.
That’s not to say it’ll be a problem, given that engine testing began long before the prototype cars hit the track – but there are limits to what can be changed after durability work. in the United States which should be completed in August.
KRE Race Engines guru Ken McNamara will lead the USA to oversee the process, which will use advanced dyno technology to program a race simulation (as opposed to just flat out racing).
McNamara noted that having a head start on knowing the limitations of various parts will be a key win, so that one understands when failures can occur and which spares should be prioritized.
“We’ve already ordered all the parts, so if we find anything, we can’t change much,” he admitted to Speedcafe.com.
“The spec is pretty good; I’m sure there will be a few things to deal with once they’re racing and going through high temperatures and [having] overrevs, but I think overall pretty good.
“Now all that’s left to do is get the parts. We should have the majority of our parts here in August/September and expect to build the first 14 engines in November.
“But yeah, we’re going to do the durability tests first, it’s like a 30-hour durability test, which is similar to what they do for Le Mans.”
This should cover around 6000 km, with an oil check and change to be carried out at each distance of the Grande Course.
“We can then better predict where the interval will be for rebuilding and we can go ‘well, this wears out or that wears out’,” McNamara explained.
“We have 20 years of experience with these current engines but we don’t know the new ones so they will put in Sandown/Bathurst [into the dyno] and do this round after round after round.
“So hopefully we can refuel and air cargo as quickly as possible, tear it down and look around.”
McNamara reiterated that while it might be possible to make minor tweaks such as changing springs, there isn’t enough time now to modify core elements such as cranks or connecting rods – at least not before. the first round in 2023.
“The cars will go to the track with what they have now, which from what we’ve seen so far should be fine, we’ve already gotten to the first minor rebuild,” he said. he continued.
“It will certainly help with some of the components, but it just gives us a head start on service intervals.”
With 14 Camaros and 11 Mustangs to make up the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship grid, KRE is tasked with building 28 race engines (two per Camaro) before stocking spares.
Herrod Performance Engines leads the charge for the Blue Oval’s engine program.