Ford Mustangs run by Garry Rogers Motorsport raised eyebrows at the recent Queensland Raceway round of the Trans Am National Series when photos of the rear window bending at speed surfaced online.
Runaway series leader Nathan Hearn later admitted that this was a deliberate ploy on the part of the team to see if there was a speed, flexibility advantage that came from the weakened roof racks.
“Lochy Dalton’s car was there before [GRM teammate] Owen Kelly’s car, which was one of the top ten cars in the country,” Hearn told The Driver’s Seat podcast.
“It actually broke one of the roof supports, which pulled the roof down, and we noticed it on the onboard video and thought, ‘wow, I wonder what’s going on there.’
“So that was the car that happened at Simmons Plains. After Symmons Plains we got on the car and pushed it and when we were cleaning the car the roof got wet – we thought, “There’s something there.”
“We looked inside the car and saw that the roof rack was broken … the roof rack is literally a little bolt and the roof was wobbly like wobbly.
“At the end of the day, no rules are being broken at all from a GRM perspective, that’s just the way it is.”
This loophole has now been closed by one of the two Trans Am administrations in Australia.
The Queensland-based TA2 series told competitors that: “All struts, both inboard and outboard, must not be loosened, adjusted or manipulated in any way to change the shape of the car’s body. . All cars at speed must maintain a relaxed shape of all body panels, including windshields.’
The national Trans Am series, run by the Australian Racing Group, is expected to follow suit and ban weakened struts ahead of the next round at Sandown in mid-September.