Supercars drops paddle shift plans for 2023 Gen3 cars

In what had become a flashpoint of controversy for Supercars, the category finally named its preference for a stick shift on its next-generation cars, retaining the same mechanical system paired with the same six-speed Xtrac transaxle. gears used in current cars.

The decision was made based on feedback from fans and riders, with the latter expressing concern over the loss of heel and toe art, the Auto Gear Shift system, with auto-blip, was introduced alongside paddles or a stick.

“After the first rounds of prototype testing and the unanimous support of the Gen3 Steering Committee, I can confirm that the Camaro and Mustang will race using the current fully manual shifting for 2023 and beyond,” said Shane Howard. , CEO of Supercars.

“We have heavily heeded the overwhelming feedback from our fans, teams and drivers that the shifting mechanism and proportional skill required to downshift properly cannot be lost in the unique battle fire of on-track Supercars.

“We have always celebrated the difficulty of driving a Supercar. Shifting gears has become part of the art necessary to succeed in our class.

“We are very pleased with the decision of the Gen3 Steering Committee and can now continue the development of Gen3.”

Defending champion Shane van Gisbergen, a staunch advocate of shifter backup, praised the decision.

“I’m delighted with this Supercars decision. I spoke about it, as did pretty much every other driver,” said the Kiwi.

“We know the fans wanted the same as us, so I’m sure everyone is happy with this decision to keep the gear change as it is.”

Gen3 cars introduced next year will retain shifter after Supercars turn around

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographs

Former Supercars driver and TV pundit Mark Larkham added that the decision was “an important and correct outcome for Supercars”.

“We are an Australian-only category, with an Australian-only ruleset that is the envy of the touring car world,” he said.

“Part of this Supercars achievement has been tools like manual shifting, anti-roll bar and brake bias cockpit activity, which showcase athleticism, physiology and driver psychology.

“It’s definitely the right result for Supercars, a sport like any other that is about human effort and puts athletes under pressure.”

Supercars had been back and forth on the shift mechanism of its next-gen cars for most of the year.

The switch to paddle shifting, based on lowering running costs by reducing wear on gearboxes and engines, seemed as well done as when Gen3 planning began.

This was despite the idea being widely criticized by drivers.

In June last year, Supercars confirmed that an AGS system would be adopted in both directions, with electronic shifting via paddles or a stick. It was then agreed that both options would be tested on Gen3 prototypes before a final decision was made.

However, two options later became three, as continued feedback in support of the current system from pilots, fans, and some team leaders brought the mechanical change, without AGS, back into the game.

Champion van Gisbergen backed Supercars announcement

Champion van Gisbergen backed Supercars announcement

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh, Edge Photographs

Around the sale of Supercars, the momentum then swung in favor of shifting, but the debate lingered and the controversy peaked at the launch of the Gen3 prototypes last December as the outgoing CEO of the series, Sean Seamer clashed with the media when asked about the move system.

Testing of the Gen3 prototype began as planned with the AGS and paddles/e-stick, before this final decision in favor of the mechanical system was made.

The cars will continue their testing program at Winton on February 22-23, where they are expected to run the mechanical gear lever.

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