Goddard compares Gen3 Mustang and Camaro prototypes
Zane Goddard’s status as a free agent gave him the rare opportunity to test both Gen3 prototype Supercars from Ford and Chevrolet.
Goddard, who played his first full season in the Repco Supercars Championship with Matt Stone Racing in 2021, is without full-time practice in the main game this year.
Without a team tie this year, it gave him the chance to race both the Ford Mustang and the Chevrolet Camaro at Queensland Raceway this week.
Goddard proved to be an important player in the test, getting back-to-back reading on both prototypes.
Speaking to Speedcafe.com, the 22-year-old said there are encouraging signs at the start of the proceedings.
“First of all, they’re actually quite similar,” Goddard explained.
“Obviously it’s the same base, it’s just a different aero package. The engines are obviously different too, you kinda notice that.
“They both feel like they have reduced downforce compared to the current [Gen2] car, so it’s a tick.
“The way the engines work right now, they work a little bit differently in different areas. You can definitely notice that as a driver.
“We have more torque at low revs, we have more torque at high revs. Just little things like that. But obviously, it’s only the first few days, so everything is getting closer and closer day by day.
“With aero, there is a small difference in balance. A kind of oversteer favors [Mustang], understeer is preferred [Camaro] a little more, but nothing you can’t adjust out of the car.
“There’s still a bit of adjustment on the rear wing, so playing around with that can sort that out. It’s just fine-tuning stuff.
“If they had rolled them out straight away and they were exactly the same, I think everyone would have been surprised.
” It’s planned. We expect them to be a bit different, but they are very close. I don’t think it will take much for the categories to be tied. It’s promising.
There was one talking point among drivers who sampled the Camaro that stood out, with most noting the lack of visibility.
The Gen3 regulations are such that the silhouette of the racing car must match that of the road car.
The new Mustang and Camaro have a noticeably smaller greenhouse than their Gen2 predecessors.
Goddard noted that the Camaro has slightly smaller windows than the Mustang, with visibility also being affected by the styling of the Camaro’s hood and nose.
Will Brown and Broc Feeney also noted the lack of visibility, making it harder to see inside curbs.
However, Goddard believes this can be corrected with seating adjustments.
“Looking out of cars is slightly different,” Goddard said.
“I would say the Camaro has smaller windows. It’s pretty much what you’d expect; the field of vision is a little narrower.
“If you’re in the right sitting position, you’re fine. If you’re a little low, the hood has a little more shape. It can somehow get in the way.
“For a full-time driver, it should be fine. They will put the seat in a position that works.
Goddard debriefed with the respective Ford and Chevrolet homologation teams, Dick Johnson Racing and Triple Eight Race Engineering, where he provided his comments.
This, he said, was beneficial in validating his reading of the prototypes against other pilots.
“I think it’s good to have a driver who can switch between them,” Goddard said.
“You read between the lines when talking to a driver of a car. When you have someone who can tell for sure what the difference is, I think that’s very beneficial.
“I think it was a good process, I think they [Supercars] learned a bit. I think if this can happen regularly on test days, I think it will be beneficial for the class.
The supercars will hold another two-day test at Queensland Raceway next Monday and Tuesday.