V8 Supercars as we know it will be no more from the start of the 2017 season, with new rules and regulations proposed in a ‘white paper’ released today.
The next generation touring car racers in Australia will be called “Gen2 Supercars”, and the category has thrown the door wide open in the hope of securing manufacturer interest post 2017.
The category will embrace a somewhat ‘forced’ change, as two of its major competitors under the current rules exit the Australian manufacturing scene.
But the carmaker may be wooed back under the new rules, which will allow it to race its incoming Mustang coupe.
Some of the current rules will remain, such as rear-wheel-drive and E85 ethanol-blended fuel, along with a minimum four-seat, front-engined layout.
New rules will allow turbocharged four- and six-cylinder engines to compete alongside V8s, and body-shells will no longer have to conform to a four-door sedan shape.
Competing models must be officially sold in Australia and “accurately reflect the look of the road car”, using the existing Car Of The Future chassis and control components.
The sport’s governing body promises a “high-octane, dynamic racing platform - fast, loud and aggressive” with “increased relevance to manufacturers, race fans, teams and sponsors”.
“It is imperative to keep the sport relevant to the current environment, entertaining and, critically, viable for the race teams,” V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said.
“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.”
A pair of ‘working groups’ will be established next year; fine-tuning the rules in an attempt to ensure parity across the grid.
Midway through 2015, the rules will be opened for discussion with a view to finalising the new formula by the end of next year. Testing on new models could then begin in 2016.
V8 Supercars has wasted no time implementing its vision for the future, unveiling a new logo with virtually no emphasis on “V8” to be adopted from next season.
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