Supercars enters 2018 under new leadership and with a desperate need to steady the ship and settle on a future direction, as we analyse in V8X Supercar Magazine issue #102.
Issue #102 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 #102.
James Warburton’s reign as CEO of Supercars was the second longest and most significant of the V8 era behind Wayne Cattach, who led the series at the start of the V8 era. Coincidentally, Warburton’s era will go down as the beginning of the end of V8 era.
From 2013 to 2017, Warburton negotiated the Car of the Future and opening up the series to new manufacturers, which has now evolved into Gen2 and new engine configurations, the rebranding to Supercars, bringing other categories and events (such as the Bathurst 12 Hour) into the fold and the media-rights deal with Fox Sports.
According to team owner Ryan Walkinshaw, the sport “would have died” without the cash injection to Supercars from that deal.
However, what comes next without Warburton in 2018 and beyond is vital with the introduction of the imported Commodore and first non-V8 engine under Gen2 debuting in the first year post-car manufacturing in Australia.
Supercars must address the following in 2018:
- The identity of the series. Will it continue its bid to attract new manufacturers or will it realign to suit privateers? If so, is the series sustainable without manufacturer involvement?
- Will provisions be made to keep V8 engines? If not, how will fans embrace Holden’s new twin-turbo V6 engine in its wildcard appearances in 2018?
- In the wake of the end of Australian car manufacturing and the move away from V8s, will the supporter base diminish?
- Can Ford be enticed to get involved in Gen2 with the Mustang? With Holden committing with the new ZB Commodore, retaining a Ford presence is important to keep the Ford versus Holden rivalry going.
- Will Supercars continue Warburton’s bid to get on the Formula 1 support bill in Asian events or will the series decide to focus on events in Australia and New Zealand?
- How will the series position itself for a constantly evolving media landscape and the next television-rights deal?
- How will support categories such as Super2, SuperUtes, Super5000 and the Australian GT Championship evolve under the Supercars banner?
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