Walkinshaw Andretti United and road car brethren HSV will only introduce the Chevrolet Camaro to Supercars with the support of General Motors, says team boss Ryan Walkinshaw.
WAU and HSV are currently studying the feasibility of racing the Camaro body in Supercars, which would align the racing effort with the latter company’s deal to sell the road cars in Australia.
With basic Computed Aided Design work done, Walkinshaw explained at Bathurst that the project has now entered ‘stage two’, involving Computational Fluid Dynamic analysis.
While the Camaro could join its long-time US rival, the Mustang, on the Supercars grid as early as 2020, Walkinshaw stresses there’s still many factors at play.
Among them is receiving the support of General Motors, which is the parent company of both Chevrolet and Holden.
“At the end of the day, we haven't made the decision (to race the Camaro) internally at all, contrary to some of the more suggestive headlines that have been out there,” explained Walkinshaw.
“You know, I want to make sure that Michael and Zak (WAU co-owners Andretti and Brown), I want to make sure this is something that they want to do, and they want to run this car.
“We've got to make sure from the performance and safety aspects that it's going to be something that we'll want to run.
“And we've got a strong relationship with GM, it's absolutely critical that we have their support and engagement and permission to do it.
“At the end of the day we're not going to do something without their permission, and we've got a road car business relationship to maintain with them, so it's going to be their call as well.”
Holden declared earlier this year that it has no problem with the Camaro racing against its own ZB Commodore in Supercars.
Walkinshaw, however, stressed that detailed discussions with GM bosses are yet to take place, given that the project is still in its early stages.
“We've engaged with them, we’ve kept them informed of what we're doing,” Walkinshaw said of GM.
“There'd be no need to go any further with that until we’ve made an internal decision. There's no point having that discussion until we're really confident this is something we really want to do.
“At the end of the day, we've still got technical work that needs to be done before we even have that discussion internally.
“Then there's going to be a branding discussion and then there's going to be a safety discussion and then a performance discussion, so there's more to happen before we go down that route, for sure.”
If the Camaro was to debut in 2020, the green-light would likely need to be given in the early part of next year.
Asked of timelines for the project, Walkinshaw replied: “How long is a piece of string?
“The work has got to be done, and we won't do it (commit to the Camaro) until we're confident we've done the work.
“At the moment, I’ve mentioned that if it was to happen, which is still a big if, we'd probably be looking at 2020.
“But if it’s 2021 because we want to give it the best crack possible, (or) because we want to run this another year... that's a discussion we'll have internally.
“There's no drop-dead date at all.”