NASCAR’s Gen 7 car hit the track Monday at Daytona International Speedway courtesy of IMSA’s Action Express Racing. Driver Felipe Nasr clocked laps in the Gen 7 car built by his IMSA team, an interesting development in NASCAR’s ongoing Gen 7 process.
Action Express built this car in-house, it did not come from NASCAR and it was not a NASCAR sanctioned test.
“The Action Express test allows a sports car team to learn about the architecture of the Next-Gen car and explore any opportunities to adopt new technologies. The test also benefits NASCAR – it helps us check the durability of parts, helps with tire development and gives us data from a road course test,” – NASCAR VP John Probst.
It’s an interesting crossover test and one that could certainly lead to speculation about Action Express in the future. Andy Lally sarcastically alluded to that on Twitter and surely a few people bought into it.
Some fans were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the test on Monday. Daytona International Speedway appears to be giving fan tours of the facility, an interesting choice during a global pandemic. It’s a fantastic tour, just maybe wait until Florida isn’t a tropical morgue.
Gen 7 Sounds Incredible
One of the biggest criticisms of the Gen 7 car has been the sound of the engine. The exhaust wasn’t what fans wanted. Much like the current Cup package, it didn’t have that throaty V8 rumble fans clamored for. Listen to the 2014 Cup cars vs. the 2020 Cup cars.
Have no fear though, the Action Express car sounded like a monster. Take a listen;
That’s what fans want. Not overly loud, but not a whine either. It’s a properly sounding race car and it almost sounds like the previous generation IMSA Corvette. Hopefully this is the exhaust/sound NASCAR adopts for the Gen 7 car.
Ride Height/Small Blade
The other big takeaway from the AXR test was the aero package used on the car. Look at that small spoiler! Just look at it in all of its glory. It looks to be about a 2-inch spoiler but extended to 4-inch with a plexiglass layover. It’s still smaller than what we have now and more inline with what NASCAR tested at Phoenix earlier this year. No one is going to complain about a smaller spoiler.
LOOK AT THAT RIDE HEIGHT!
You can see under the car, completely under the car, you could roll a 1:24 diecast under that bad boy. Try to do that on the current Cup car, it’s impossible and you’ll likely dent the car and ruin the aero.
Nearly everything about the next Gen car is what fans wanted. There’s still a splitter which no one wants and Daytona this past weekend was another prime example why it’s financially irresponsible to have a splitter. Not to mention the dependency on front downforce it creates. The other things fans would like to change is the 550 HP engine being developed for the Gen 7 car. Less horsepower is never the answer, unless of course there is far less downforce on the car.
Regardless, a lot of interesting things came out of this private test. NASCAR will resume their Next-gen test schedule Monday following this weekend’s races at Dover. Cole Custer will be in the car this time around.
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