Thursday, 29 June 2017 18:03

Supercars Gen2: Fork in the road

204gen2feature

Two of the three models raced in Supercars are no longer sold in the Australian marketplace. So where is the series heading with the Gen2 rules in effect? We examine in V8X Supercar Magazine issue #99.

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.

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #99.

The reality is Australia's most prominent, most important motor racing championship is beginning to look like a used car lot. It is filled with dead and dying shapes. The Ford FG X Falcon finished production last October. Nissan has stopped importing the Altima and the last Holden VF Commodore rolls from the production line this October.

Yes, there will be a racing replacement for the VF in 2018, which is currently being developed by Triple Eight Race Engineering on behalf of Holden. But it's set to be the only new car on the grid. That means the Supercar version of the new imported Commodore will most likely be racing a bunch of superseded and phased out cars, including its own predecessor.

If you want to lose relevance then racing obsolete machinery is arguably the best way to do it.

"We have always prided ourselves on being relevant," says Supercars CEO James Warburton. "I don't think any one in the category thinks that (having FG X and Altima on the grid) would be a good idea beyond next year.

"From an overall logistic view it's a big change for any team and its ultimately too late for 2018 for widespread change... but we can survive that."

Essentially, the ageing grid is collateral damage from the end of the local automotive manufacturing industry. The Australian Ford and Holden businesses that once funded local touring-car racing for millions of dollars a year are now mere sales, marketing and distribution offices for their global bosses no different to Hyundai or Honda.

An Australian outpost asking HQ for millions to fund a Supercar team racing a bespoke entry developed specifically for a domestic championship is unlikely to get much of a hearing when a GT3 or GT4 racer can be developed for the globe. Especially when that car will make your company money.

But the problem expands even further than that. Car brands have made a choice to invest in other forms of promotion over motorsport. Their logos abound in the football codes in Australia yet they shun motor racing.

In the old days almost every teams was part of the Holden and Ford factory effort. Now just six cars on the grid are supported by factory money, the two Red Bull Holden Racing Team Commodores and the four Nissan Motorsport Altimas.

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #99 to read the full article.

calendar-banner

Clipsal 500 Adelaide

2-5 March

Tyrepower Tasmania Super Sprint 

7-9 April

WD-40 Phillip Island 500  21-23 April 

Perth Super Sprint  

5-7 May 

Winton Super Sprint 

19-21 May 

CrownBet Triple Crown Darwin

16-18 June

Watpac Townsville 400

7-9 July

Coates Hire Ipswich Super Sprint

28-30 July

Red Rooster Sydney Super Sprint

18-20 August

Wilson Security Sandown 500

15-17 September

Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000

5-8 October

Vodafone Gold Coast 600

20-22 October

ITM Auckland Super Sprint

3-5 November

Coates Hire Newcastle 500

24-26 November

points-banner

Pos

 Driver

 Points

 1

 Jamie Whincup

2850

 2

 Scott McLaughlin

2820

 3

 Fabian Coulthard

2674

 4

 Chaz Mostert

2586

 5

 Shane van Gisbergen

2574

 6

 Craig Lowndes

2160

 7

 Cameron Waters

2071

 8

 Mark Winterbottom

2058

 9

 Garth Tander

2028

 10

David Reynolds 

1956

 Full points table