FUTURE OF V8 SUPERCARS UNVEILED AT SYDNEY TELSTRA 500
· Ensures long term viability and growth of the sport
· New manufacturers expected to join V8 Supercars
· V8 Supercar teams to begin building new cars
The future of V8 Supercars has been revealed at a premier industry launch with twin prototypes of the 2013 Car of the Future on show for the first time.
The three-year project, led by Mark Skaife and a key team of engineers, designers, car builders, V8 Supercar team personnel and drivers, is complete with a 2013-spec Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon fully tested and on the showroom floor.
The striking cars, developed with the sponsorship support of Dunlop, represent the next generation V8 Supercar after 19 years of the current and hugely successful Ford and Holden only formula.
They were unveiled at the Sydney Telstra 500 at Olympic Park this morning in front of media, car manufacturers, Government representatives, motorsport heavyweights and industry insiders.
Snapshot of the Car of the Future objectives:
· Provide the technical framework of the sport to further promote and expand the category
· A closer alignment with the Australian Automotive market to provide enhanced market relevance with a more cost effective vehicle platform
· Embrace the Car Industry as an opportunity for other manufacturers to compete in world class, entertaining touring car events
· Maintain at its heart the ‘DNA’ of V8 Supercars
· Enhanced technical safety from reduced vehicle mass, fuel cell location and driver protection
· Reduce vehicle build and repair costs to boost stakeholder viability long into the future
· Increased the number of V8 Supercar events in a condensed calendar across multiple countries through the Car of the Future initiatives
· Ensure more, higher quality racing and result in V8 Supercars continuing as the most cost effective, competitive and exciting touring car category in the world
“Mark, along with his great team within V8 Supercars and externally, have not only delivered this critical project in time but also with a tremendous finished product,” V8 Supercar Chairman Tony Cochrane said.
“The Car of the Future is an integral part of our long-term business and sporting strategy that will result in V8 Supercars embracing new opportunities domestically and internationally, on and off the track.
“This is a watershed day for V8 Supercars.”
Principal project sponsor Dunlop has assisted with the development of the Car of the Future.
“Dunlop has a long and very proud history in motorsport over many decades so it has been a privilege to be part of this critical project for V8 Supercars,” Dunlop Vice President of Consumer Tyres, David Petrie said.
Developed primarily to assure the long-term viability of the sport and its’ teams, the Car of the Future maintains the very essence of the sport – that the cars on the track are the same likeness of those everyday motorists drive on the roads.
“We already have an outstanding product so this is a case of evolution, not revolution,” said Skaife, the most decorated driver in the history of the sport.
“The major changes are under the skin or in the design architecture primarily to make the cars cheaper to build and to repair. We also want to ensure the market relevance by keeping the car as close as it can possibly be to the car on the show room floor.
“We want for the whole of the industry to be able to run the cars more cost-effectively. So for everybody – the team owners, the fans and supporters of our sport – it will keep our teams more viable and provide better racing.”
It is only a matter of when, not if, according to Skaife that other manufacturers will see the value for money motorsport and entertainment prospect and want to come and play.
“We encourage new manufacturers to be with us,” Skaife said.
“If we are able to have two or three manufacturers over the next three or four years we will be in a very healthy position. There are untold benefits for both V8 Supercars and I believe particularly for the first manufacturer to join us.
“A lot of the car companies have recognised that to be first will have a level of great advantage in terms of publicity and promotion. Essentially that very first (non Holden or Ford) manufacturer will have a distinct advantage over others who sign up later.”
Skaife said that the sport could only grow with new makes involved.
“Australia is a very different place in 2011 than in 1993,” he said.
“Today Ford and Holden combined have roughly 20 per cent of the market. The other 80 per cent of the market needs to be embraced by V8 Supercars. The reality is you can’t have your whole sport based on 20 per cent of the car market.”
An ability for a cheaper build cost and faster, less expensive repair cost and time, will mean V8 Supercars will easily make the transition to an 18-event, 40-week season. Effectively teams will be able to build four V8 Supercars for the price of three. This goal has been set for the 2015 season.
“One aspect that needs to be improved about our sport is momentum and rhythm,” Skaife said. We want to be able to build the cars more cheaply so teams can have cars in stock to go racing.
“The end result will be a better show. There will be more, higher quality racing and this will see V8 Supercars continue as the most cost effective, competitive and exciting touring car category in the world.”
V8 Supercar teams will start building their new cars as early as this month before the compulsory roll-out in 2013.