Supercars is set to kick off its unprecedented wind tunnel programme this week as it looks to banish the parity issues that persisted throughout the 2023 season.
While transient dyno work will also form an important pillar of the off-season parity push, the wind tunnel is widely seen as an opportunity to put the aero parity debate to bed.
However, it may not be as easy as it seems.
That's the view of ex-Supercars engineer and West Aussie Luke Mason, who now lives in the United States and works for Team Penske.
Since this year he has worked as Josef Newgarden's engineer, the pair combining to take a sensational Indy 500 win back in May.
Mason, who utilises both wind tunnels and real-world runway testing for aero analysis, isn't convinced that the former will be significantly more efficient or accurate than the latter.
“At the end of the day it's a lot of money,” Mason told Speedcafe during filming for the upcoming KTM Summer Grill. “Somebody is obviously paying for it.
“From my experience, a lot of people think you'll just run a Chevy in the wind tunnel, and run a Mustang in the wind tunnel, and you'll look up at an LCD screen and they will both say ‘150' and you'll press go and it's all good and everything is right.
“But at the end of the day, wind tunnels are quite a tricky thing to use.
“It's a tool like anything else. You can get the numbers exactly right on an engine dyno, and we know the same graph is very different to drive on a real race track. It's no different in a tunnel.
“We, and most other top IndyCar teams, spend more time and resource running a car up and down a runway than we do in a wind tunnel, because we get better data out of it, better results, and it translates to the race tracks.
“I think it's just a bit of caution to say, it might not be the be all and end all to take a car to a wind tunnel. There is merit in what they were doing in the first place.
“The public was very quick to dismiss all the work they had done on the airfields to get the cars to where they were.”