HOLDEN DELAYS SUPERCAR V6
New Commodore to race with V8s in 2018
By PHIL BRANAGAN
Holden teams will take on the 2018 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship with V8-powered Commodores – not a turbocharged V6.
The company has confirmed today, Friday, that the iconic V8 motor will continue to be used in the series, alongside the development of the new twin-turbo V6 during the year.
While the work on the first non-V8 to compete under Supercars’ new Gen 2 regulations continues, Supercars will permit a V6 to compete as a ‘Wildcard’ entry at selected rounds of the 2018 Championship.
Holden had previously maintained that the 2018 model Commodore would race solely with the V6, primarily with the Red Bull Holden Racing Team entries of Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup. Holden’s new Supercars arrangements would have meant that the teams would access the latest engine exclusively via Triple Eight Race Engineering, with the V6 available on a lease basis.
Now teams will have the option to update to the new Commodore fitted with their current normally-aspirated V8 engines, from their existing suppliers.
T8 will presumably run a fourth ‘Wildcard’ entry at selected races to ‘road’ the new V6, with the likely driver being one of the squad’s endurance pilots.
At the same time as confirming the delay in the roll-out for the V6, Holden unveiled artwork showing the new car, which is based on a European-developed Opel Insignia.
“What an incredible-looking race car, it carries on the tradition of Commodores looking awesome on and off the track and ushers in a new era for our brand,” Holden’s Executive Director – Marketing, Mark Harland said.
“I can’t wait to see it out on the track claiming race wins next year.”
Triple Eight will continue to work with Holden and Supercars with the development of the car and its engine package. AA understands that Holden’s Motorsport’s Technical Manager Peter Harker is currently overseas consulting with GM personnel on the development of the new 2018 car.
Triple Eight Race Engineering team principal Roland Dane said that the new timetable for the introduction of the 2018 car will be a plus.
“Our sport prides itself on Supercars being the closest competition in the world, and the phased introduction of the next-generation Commodore will ensure that is maintained,” he said.
Supercars Australia Chief Executive Officer James Warburton called the new timetable “a pragmatic and sensible approach by Holden and Triple Eight Race Engineering in introducing the new Commodore and a twin-turbocharged V6 powered engine to the sport.
“Importantly it is a win for all the current Teams in terms of the simplicity and market relevance for an easy transition to the new Commodore in 2018.
“This phased introduction sets a clear path forward for not only Holden but existing and new manufacturers in the sport.”
Construction of T8’s first 2018 Commodore is well underway and a prototype is expected to undertake Supercars Aero Validation in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Date posted: June 9, 2017