Engines other than V8s will feature under the Gen2 regulations in Supercars. But as Prodrive Racing Australia's Mark Winterbottom and Jason Bright argue, is it worth considering a spec V8 platform to maintain the current engine formula? V8X Supercar Magazine issue #99 ponders the question.
Issue #99 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.
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V8 engines have been the backbone of the Australian Touring Car Championship/Supercars since 1993. Therefore, opening up the category to other engines under the Gen2 rules presents a big change in philosophy, one that may be hard for competitors and fans alike to accept.
Holden paves the way for non-V8 engines with its switch to twin-turbo V6s in 2019, while manufacturers are being encouraged to look at the series without the requirement to run a five-litre V8. But should Supercars be catering to manufacturers or stick with what the fans want?
Jason Bright said the following in the V8X Supercar Magazine roundtable published in issue #98: "I'm not a fan of bringing other engines in, personally. I think the V8 formula has worked very well for us. I've always felt we should listen to the fans more... what do they want? What's going to bring them through the gate because they're the ones that drive who's sponsoring us and which television networks want to pay to televise our races."
Bright continues arguing that the dwindling level of funding manufacturers provide in Supercars means the series shouldn't be trying to pander to them.
Winterbottom goes further, suggesting a spec engine could be an alternative to retain the V8.
"The V8 is what we love and you have to be careful Gen2 doesn't impact on Supercars' following," said Winterbottom.
"I'd like a one-make engine. It takes a lot of time and money to make some engines as competitive as others. The spec engine works well in other categories, which creates another aspect that we don't have to worry about.
"From a drivers' point of view, the spec engine wouldn't be a bad way to go. Parity is the main thing. If the racing is close, then the entertainment side will be strong."
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