Future outlined with release of draft Gen2 guidelines
Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
By V8 Supercars
V8 Supercars has completed the first draft technical regulations of the 2017 Gen2 Supercar. The draft regulations outline the next phase of growth for the sport by broadening the range of engine and body configurations that will be eligible to race from 2017.
The Gen2 Supercar is designed to be more relevant to more manufacturers, race teams, sponsors and fans while continuing V8 Supercars' promise of providing fans with the high octane and ultra-competitive characteristics of the current Championship.
Significantly, any new engine or body shape will have to meet existing engine power outputs, aerodynamic guidelines and technical specifications that produce the spectacular, tight racing enjoyed today.
The Gen2 program provides the flexibility for teams to compete with a different body style or engine capacity, if and when they choose. It is expected the majority of teams will remain in their current configurations in the foreseeable future.
"The far more complex Car of the Future program was the first step in opening the garage door and as a result we now have Nissan, Erebus and Volvo as a very important part of our sport," V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said.
"Gen2 is another option for manufacturers and our race teams should they choose at a time that suits them, if at all. It is not a new direction or wholesale change."
The Gen2 platform allows more flexibility in terms of body style and engine configuration, provided they comply with the regulations. The V8 engine, which has been mandated for more than 20 years, is also expected to continue as the dominant power plant of the sport.
The Gen2 Supercar program was unveiled last November last with full implementation due by January 1 2017. The initial draft guidelines has met the first program milestone.
"We made it clear when we announced the Gen2 strategy that there will be no compromise in power, competition or technical parity," Warburton said.
"The category in 2017 will be exactly what it is now. Fast, loud and fiercely competitive. This opens the same garage door a little wider and future proofs the sport.
"As has been the case with Nissan, Volvo and Mercedes we have proven beyond doubt these core ingredients can be transferred from one make to another."
The base guidelines stipulate the car must be publicly available for sale in Australia, is front engine, right hand drive and a full four-seat configuration in the road going version.
"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," Mr Warburton said.
"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."
The race car must be rear wheel drive and accurately reflect the look of the road car, retaining the essential DNA of the sport. All cars will use the existing Car of the Future chassis and control components, and be subject to current engine and aero parity rules.
The regulations state the model must have a minimum production volume of 5000 cars of the same body shape worldwide.
It must be powered by an engine configuration, be that 4, 6, or 8 cylinder (or other) that does not exceed the Supercars accumulated engine power output and weighted average.
Significantly, the Manufacturer Homologation Guidelines mandate a maximum accumulated engine power output and weighted average that remains at the same range it is today.
With five different makes and five different engines already competing in V8 Supercars under a uniform chassis, the possible inclusion of more manufacturers, models and engines is a progression of the more complex Car of the Future program.
The draft regulations were prepared with extensive input from Steve Hallam, Ross Stone, Derek Crabb, Craig Hasted and lead by V8 Supercars Sporting and Technical Director David Stuart.
The document has been reviewed by the V8 Supercars Board and the V8 Supercars Commission. The regulations will be finalised by the final quarter of 2015.