V8 Supercars will drop the first part of its name within two years, allowing more engine and body configurations to compete in the local racing series.
V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton officially confirmed the move when announcing the “first draft technical regulations” of the 2017 Gen2 Supercar program at the weekend’s racing in Townsville.
While Gen2 will allow four-cylinder and six-cylinder engines to join the eights, to keep an even playing field they will need to comply with current power, mass and even noise requirements – just to ensure another Godzilla doesn’t again come in and stomp over an Aussie eight.
The donks will need to produce no more than 635bhp (474kW), rev no higher than 7500rpm, place at least 200kg over the front wheels and deliver no fewer than 85 decibels in a bid to keep the racing loud. To these specifications, V8 Supercars is developing its own twin-turbo V6 engine to compete from mid-2016.
Of course, every engine will still need to direct its power to the rear wheels.
Gen2 will use the same control chassis and aerodynamic guidelines as the current V8 Supercars racers, but will permit other drop-over bodies such as two-door coupes to enter. All entrants must still be based on a four-seat production vehicle that is available in Australia and has a worldwide minimum production of 5000 units.
Warburton admits that while the V8 engine is expected to be the dominant source of power, and current players are likely to continue using sedans, the decisions around Gen2 are designed to lure in more manufacturers to the series.
“From our many discussions it is crystal clear manufacturers want to go racing with their DNA embedded on the inside and outside of the car they choose to race,” he said in a statement.
“They want to use their engine technology and body aesthetics. These regulations allow for that over time without forgoing the promise of fast, fearsome and loud touring cars.
“We want to grow our fan base and having one or two more brands on top of our existing brands would be an ideal outcome over time.”
Gen2 regulations remove the final remnants of the 1993 decision to make racing exclusively a V8-engined Holden and Ford affair, following on from the 2013 Car of the Future announcement that allowed other brands to compete.
“The landscape has changed fundamentally,” confesses Warburton.
“We have to look for relevance. There’s no manufacturing here in Australia and what it [Gen2] does is it rips the garage door off and allows teams and manufacturers and really our fans to be accessible in terms of what we’re putting forward.
“Quite frankly the Gen2 supercar regulations are going to future proof our sport”.