OK, this article, I’m going to talk about something I rarely talk about in real life because no one watches it in I’m from where I am from., we’re talking about (not) V8 Supercars. You see, after the fall of Holden and Ford, V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton have been scratching the crap out of his hair to keep the series alive after both Holden and Ford stops supplying the series.
Now that Ford Australia is no longer giving factory support to any teams in 2016 and Holden is literally in a terminal stage, V8 Supercars desperately needed a change. Well, for starters, in April 2016, they dropped the “V8” in the name, leaving just “Virgin Australia Supercars Championship” in the name.
The biggest change, however, will be happening in around 3-5 months from now, it’s the Gen2 V8…dammit, I can’t seem to move on from the V8 Supercars name (everyone does). Let’s try this again…Gen2 Supercars…
Back in 2013, when both Ford and Holden first announced that their manufacturing operations are ending in 2016 and 2017 respectively, International V8 Supercars Series announced that they are opening more car manufacturers to join the International V8 Supercars Series. Nissan, Volvo (rumored to withdraw at the end of this season), and Mercedes-Benz (later withdrew in 2015) were the manufacturers who first responded to the opened doors of the Aussie touring car world – which, for a good amount of decades were dominated by Ford and Holden (your writer here is a Holden man).
Of course, this meant that Volvo, Merc, and Nissan had to make V8s to their mid-sized sedans with Mercedes going through relatively easy with them already had a V8 powered mid-sized sedan in production, the E63 AMG. Volvo and Nissan on the other hand, didn’t (and still don’t) have a V8 powered mid-sized sedan so, Volvo took the S60, chuck in a V8. Nissan? Take an Altima with a V8.
But we all know that opening doors wouldn’t be enough to compensate the death of Ford and Holden so, the Gen2 Supercars is introduced for 2017.
Right, so what is this Gen2 thing I kept talking about throughout your time reading this article? Well, it is basically a new era for the not-V8 Supercars series starting from 2017. I am going to copy-paste some of the details from the Supercars website…
– V8 Supercars to maintain high-octane, dynamic racing platform – fast, loud and aggressive
– Gen2 Supercar opens the sport to new engine and body configurations, alongside V8 engines
– Increased relevance to manufacturers, race fans, teams and sponsors
– DNA remains front engine, rear wheel drive, four seat configuration
So, from that little piece, I could tell you that not-V8 Supercars will still possibly have a similar atmosphere to the current still-V8-but-not-called-V8 Supercars series. Also, if you look at the blueprint (very top picture) you can see on the right sideskirt it says “LOUD!”.
Mate, these Aussie aces aren’t backing out, right mate? They’re not like Euro c**ts with their soundless engines in F1, eh mate?
Yep, even with the opened engine regulations that allows 4 and 6 cylinder engines to enter Supercars, Warburton wants it to be loud, just like what the fans watching at the Mt. Panorama campsite every October wants. Maybe we can hear the return of the mang mang mang in Supercars. Never late in a 3.8.
To be brutally honest, I think there is a side where Warburton is a bit living in a dream. There’s no way you’re going to make a 600++ hp engine with a 4 cylinder with endurance-spec reliability.
Anything else? Well, the rough regulations stay the same such as the fact that the car the race car is based on must be sold in Australia, must be right-hand drive, must have 4 seats, front engine, rear wheel drive.
I absolutely love and appreciate what Warburton and his team are doing to keep the series alive yet making the fans relatively happy. They still know and still care with what we want from the atmosphere of watching V8 Supercars. They know we want the loud noises and the crazy aero looks of the touring cars, they know that we love some sideways actions so they kept the FR layout. They still keep the uniqueness of the Australian touring cars compared to, say, WTCC or BTCC.
To supercars.com, V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said:
“It is imperative to keep the sport relevant to the current environment, entertaining and, critically, viable for the race teams”
“The current climate in world motorsport is absolutely clear. Manufacturers want choice in what they go racing with, otherwise they won’t participate. They want their DNA represented and so do we. We will not compromise our DNA – fast, loud and fierce racing.”
At least they don’t ban the V8s, right?
Now, my thoughts on this…
There are many positives in my brain about this right now but I still have some doubts. Firstly, with all that different engines. Yes, they are tied to regulations but then the parity will be unclear. I just don’t see how it’s going to work with different engines. But eh, we’ll see about that when 2017 starts.
Another thing is that in a few years, this direction might kill the character of the V8 Supercars. Yes, Warburton said loudness and blah blah blah but when car manufacturers start to ignore the V8 engines and started to move to the 4/6 pots, it’s all going to be BTCC/WTCC, isn’t it? I’ll be honest, I am not the biggest BTCC/WTCC fan. I am just worried that the character of the Aussie V8 SC will be gone and the series will turn into an Australian BTCC. But again, I am still willing to see what 2017 has to offer.
For some more stuff that I’m too lazy to write in this V8SC article, I have a podcast of myself and a certain English bloke that refers himself to “Quiche”.
ThrottlEnthusiasts Podcast #8 | V8 Supercars Discussion
So that was our article on the future of Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
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