Triple Eight outlines Bathurst V6 wildcard plan
- By Mitchell Adam
- Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 will be one of three 2018 Supercars events Holden’s new twin-turbo V6 contests as a wildcard under Triple Eight’s current plan.
The factory Holden squad is developing the new powerplant for a full rollout in 2019, in conjunction with its partners KRE Race Engines and GM Racing.
Dubbed the V6TT, the engine has completed a series of tests this year in Triple Eight’s Sandman ride car and made its public debut at Bathurst in October with Greg Murphy behind the wheel.
Work on the engine, based on the one used in Cadillac’s GT3 racers in the US, continues with revisions currently being developed in the United States ahead of the resumption of track testing next year.
Subject to approval from Supercars, the team had outlined intentions to run the V6 in a handful of 2018 events before its full-time debut, and this week revealed that included a “planned wildcard V6TT entry at Bathurst”.
Under the current plan, the team would run a fourth ZB Commodore alongside its Red Bull Holden Racing Team and Autobarn Lowndes Racing entries three times in the second half of the season.
“It is envisaged that one of those events will be Bathurst,” Dane told the team’s website.
“The entry is likely to be run independently of the other Triple Eight cars and we are talking to a number of drivers for the Great Race entry – including Matty Campbell who we hope may be available.”
Turbo-charged cars last raced in the Bathurst 1000 in 1992, the race won by the Nissan Skyline GT-R of Mark Skaife and Jim Richards, the year before the five-litre V8 formula was adopted by the Australia Touring Car Championship.
Triple Eight has only fielded a wildcard Supercars entry once, at Bathurst in 2013 for internationals Mattias Ekstrom and Andy Priaulx, who finished 10th.
Campbell contested this year’s PIRTEK Enduro Cup with the team alongside Shane van Gisbergen, but is set to switch from the Porsche Supercup to an international GT program in 2018.
While his exact schedule is yet to be outlined, it is understood it contains a clash with either the Sandown or Gold Coast dates, with Red Bull HRT snapping up two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Earl Bamber as his replacement.
“We’re also talking to several other internationally-based people as the other driver,” Dane said of the V6TT Bathurst line-up.
“Hopefully we can learn a lot, as well as allowing the new engine to give a good account of itself in Australia’s biggest race of the year.”