Engine development helps determine Gen2 guidelines
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
By V8 Supercars
V8 Supercars has a turbocharged V6 engine in production as part of its Gen2 program, headed up by engine expert Craig Hasted, as the next phase of Supercars draws closer.
The build - in preparation for the 2017 regulations, which open the catgory to different engines and body shapes - means V8 Supercars has intimate experience of what teams and manufacturers will face when looking to maximise the opportunity of Gen2.
It is also a step to help guarantee the roar of the race cars remain, ensuring the rumble of 26 Supercars on the starting grid will still thrill fans into the next stage of the sport.
According to Hasted, the phase in of the Gen2 rules will not be the death of the V8 engine in Supercars, with teams having the option to race their current machinery or develop a new engine that may make more commercial sense.
"Will this be the end of the V8 engine? Absolutely not," Hasted said.
"The V8 will be around for as long as manufacturers or the fans want it to be around and there is a need to race it.
"What we're doing with Gen2 is creating an opportunity for alternative configurations, which will add to the colour and spectacle of our category."
Hasted explained that, similarly to the V8 Supercars Car of the Future prototypes, the best way to create new guidelines was to work through the same process teams and manufacturers will need to go through.
"To build rules without actually physically being able to practically do it, is just impossible," he said simply.
Hasted ensured fans the category would not lose the impressive loud sound they loved.
"The Gen2 V6 has a different noise, is just as 'grunty' and just as fierce and ferocious as the current V8s," he said.
"They'll meet the power-levels easily. The V8 engines aren't going down in power, the Gen2 engines have to come up to that power. They'll achieve the power relatively easily, and they'll be competitive straight off the bat...
"The V6 will have its own note and if we see a four-cylinder, it will have its own note as well - but they'll still be just as loud."
Some of the sounds fans hear at the racetrack aren't because of the engine, Hasted explained.
"A lot of noise we hear when the cars are on the race tracks is exhaust noise and engine noise - the engine noise won't change, in actual fact it will probably be louder. The exhaust noise, we're working with that and have mandated a minimum decibel level to ensure that the noise level will be no different."
For V8 Supercars, building the engine is just the first part of the plan.
"Part B is to put the engine in the car and actually prove the on-track performance compared to the current cars," Hasted said.
While the change to an alternate engine or body shape may not be picked up immediately after the Gen2 regulations come into effect, Hasted believes it is important to give all teams options for the future.
"We're all anti-change, but I think once they see it going and see it working properly, I think we'll see more and more. In actual fact, I can see over the next five years, over 50 per cent of the teams will be on the Gen2 rules.
"The Car of the Future was a massive change. All teams had to basically build completely new cars. This is just two additions.
"For some teams it will make no difference at all, for others it will just be an engine change, some will be a body and an engine change."