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The Future?

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Mike D
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The Future?

Post by Mike D » Sun May 15, 2016 1:43 am

With Volvo bailing out, factory support from Ford going away, and Mercedes has already left as a marque, where do you think the future of our series lies?

I have read a lot of articles and banter about a GT3 format. Even a FWD-type series like BTCC. Years back here in the States, IndyCar was in such a turmoil they went to a spec series - same chassis, same engine, same tyres, etc. I wonder if morphing into spec engines might even occur for the V8s. This was tabled a few years back but might be brought back up now.

I think this series will go on in one shape or another, but you guys down under have your finger on the pulse more than I.

I just watched an ATCC race from Sandown from the mid-80s. How were the AUSCAR and the ATCC formulas formatted? This was before my time here. Equalization formulas of some sort I am assuming.
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Re: The Future?

Post by camaroguy » Sun May 15, 2016 8:36 am

i just find it sad that they spent a lot of money to design the COTF in hopes to get more manufactures in yet we are left with just one (nissan).
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Re: The Future?

Post by kennymiesta » Sun May 15, 2016 9:59 pm

I don't think it necessarily means the death of the sport. I mean, for a while in the late 90's - early 2000's, apart from HRT and Tickford, there were no "factory" teams. There is no reason that someone could not go out like Erebus did and create a team without factory backing. I do think that there is going to be tough times ahead (with little manufacturer support), but I don't agree with changing the format too much. GT3 racing is very good, if not one of the best in the world. I however, do not wish to see this as our major category. I love GT3 racing, but for the hard-racing, biff and barge that V8's create, I don't think they would do the job. It would also kill off the manufacturing of chassis here in Aus. as all these machines are purchased off the manufacturer and sent to Australia as is. No development in house, no different team to team.

In regards to BTCC style FWD, I don't see that working here in Australia either. It was tried in the 90's with Super Tourers, and that failed pretty miserably. I think there are two ways that the category could go. I don't believe they will go either way, especially now with the introduction of Gen II and looking at Gen III, but I will show them off anyway.

My first idea is to scrap Gen II. Supercars in this country is meant for V8's. Not saying that other configurations arent going to work, I am all for them and am actually a little excited to see if they can get the parity to work. However, I fear it is going to lose the identity of our category, which is so rare and special compared to other categories around the world. For a fix, I don't see why they don't just open up the V8 engine capacity. That way we will still have the "V8", but it means that other marques could come in with their capacity engines. Let Holden use to 6.2L LS engine, Mercedes could come in with their 6L Merc engine etc. I think it would be very interesting if manufacturers would be interested in showing off their "upgraded road spec engines" in a race series. I reckon they just might.

The other way to go would be to take onboard the GT3 rules and Balance of Performance, but apply them to touring cars. Make a deal with the bloke that runs the Blancpain series to make a spec car that is the same lap times as a GT3 car and make them eligable for the GT3 races around the world. Make the category in Aus only open to "AUS spec cars" to keep our series as is, but it would also mean that we could then send our cars over to compete in races such as Spa 24's and Sebring 12 hours, which would be pretty awesome I reckon. I think this one is a long shot, but I also think it would be awesome to see. Would take it back to the days of Group A where Brocky and Moff would take the VK over to Europe and compete in International events. That I would like to see. I'd love to see a Holden win the Nurburgring 24 Hour :grin:

These are just a couple of my idea's that I think would work. However, as I said, I don't think that the series is in a state that everyone thinks it is. It isnt the healthiest it has ever been, but I think give it a couple of years and it will start to thrive again. I mean, the racing is as good as it has ever been, it is just the off-track stuff that is taking the headlines at the moment.
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Re: The Future?

Post by Mike D » Mon May 16, 2016 12:27 am

camaroguy wrote:i just find it sad that they spent a lot of money to design the COTF in hopes to get more manufacturers in yet we are left with just one (nissan).
There is quite a bit of irony there. One would have thought that the organizers of the series would have had something more in place. But on the other hand, who would have thought Volvo would have just bailed out like they did? The Mercs were never factory backed, and if they were, if was a dismal effort. One cannot blame Erebus for doing what they did to stay in the sport. But think about it: Why would the series make this much of an effort only to see it fall apart as manufacturers bail? Were they that short sighted or did they just not appease the manufacturer masses like they should have?

In WTCC, for years, they kept two tables - one for factory teams and one for privateers, even though all were clumped together. Of course at the factory end it was always the Chevrolet teams, and once GM stopped funding them, it was Citroen. Honda gave it a try but came up well short the past few years.

And I agree with Kenny that there will always be a series at the top. That goes without saying. It would be nice if it was an Aussie-type series, though and not all imported rides. I mean, you could have a hell of a series with cars that currently run the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, but none of those cars are Aussie cars. They are all Red, White, & Blues, or Euro cars.

But perhaps the series might morph into a tiered=class series? V8s, FWDs, & GT3-types? Along with an open class of unlimited V8s such as Kenny noted above?

Nonetheless, the racing on track has been great this year.

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Re: The Future?

Post by camaroguy » Mon May 16, 2016 12:39 am

my guess is with ford/holden stopping production which includes the cars they use to race the organizers got scared and decided to open it up as im sure nissan said they would join if they did. i dont think they want it all privateers racing imo.
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Re: The Future?

Post by Marvin » Mon May 16, 2016 1:45 pm

Next year there will be no factory Fords, Volvos, Mercedes and probably no factory Holdens or Nissans.

I reacon its a conspiracy so that the V8 go broke and come back as something else without the Foxtel deal :grin:
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Re: The Future?

Post by robhealy86 » Mon May 16, 2016 7:10 pm

From my point of view, Supercars should read the writing on the wall and look towards a future without direct manufacturer support in terms of factory teams. My solution would be to go down the MARC cars path & have identical cars under the skin with different body shells. We could continue to utilise the common chassis we have with COTF & adopt a common engine for all teams to use (or perhaps three - a V8, a V6 turbo & a V4 turbo). Instead of lobbying different brands to come in as a factory outfit for a large outlay with little guaranteed results (like Nissan & Erebus have endured - Volvo is an exception), we could simply be asking manufacturers for permission to use their bodies in our series but without the need for them to invest. Essentially manufacturers would become more like sponsors for the teams instead of factory brands. The cars are so similar in Supercars at the moment so why not take that slightly further with control engines? The reality is Ford, Volvo & Mercedes (albeit still only at privateer level with Erebus) are gone as factory teams with Holden & Nissan no certainty. For me, it is really the teams & drivers the make the series what it is at the moment. This way would we could continue the series exactly as it is but without factory teams. If the chassis & engines were the same, Supercars would only need to homologate the aero packages to make sure we have parity without the added difficulty of matching different manufacturer's engines which has been the main issues with Nissan & Erebus. We might not have factory teams but we would have a big variety with each team possibly running different brands & shapes with sedans (like now with COTF). coupes (like Gen 2) & hot hatches (like the MARC cars).

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Re: The Future?

Post by camaroguy » Tue May 17, 2016 2:16 am

personally i think spec cars would kill the sport. i'm not a fan of how much it is a spec class already. if the racing wasnt so damn good i would have stopped watching.


are we sure ford is out? i have a feeling they are not.
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Re: The Future?

Post by robhealy86 » Tue May 17, 2016 6:06 pm

camaroguy wrote:personally i think spec cars would kill the sport. i'm not a fan of how much it is a spec class already. if the racing wasnt so damn good i would have stopped watching.

are we sure ford is out? i have a feeling they are not.


I'm not much of a fan of spec series either but I think COTF has already began taking us down that path with a common chassis so why not go with a common engine? The biggest difference between the brands at the moment is engine performance so equalising power between makes should make the racing ever closer. It's probably not the best solution but it would allow Supercars to continue the way it is now without relying on other manufacturers coming on board with factory teams.

As for Ford, they have indicated they will only continue to be involved in the sport through privateer teams but not on an official factory level. Ford Australia will allow teams to run their current engine/body & use their logos but that is basically as far as the relationship will go. PRA have a deal with a Ford Dealership (Bayford) to provide them with panels & road cars for staff. Roger Penske was said to be seeking permission from Ford in the US to back DJRTP (& possible PRA) on an official level but as far as I know they were denied because HQ wouldn't go over Ford Australia's head. I'm sure not what involvement Ford will have when it comes time to move from the FG-X to another model & if they'll even approve it.

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Re: The Future?

Post by kennymiesta » Tue May 17, 2016 10:13 pm

I think rather than have Spec style cars, they should open up the engines and aero a little and adapt a BOP like GT3 does. That way it would be a little more open in regards to what the manufactures do. And in reality it wouldn't be that hard. All Supercars need to do is employ a small amount of drivers themselves, and these drivers do a weekend full of testing in a certain period over a certain style of track to obtain a BOP. If a manufacturer has a slightly more fuel efficient car, give them a slightly smaller tank. If one has more straight line speed, trim their aero a little to make them a little slower in the corners. That is where GT3 has it right at the moment is that they can have 8 or so different brands reaching the same lap times, but doing it in so many different ways. It may open up the manufacturer commitment a little if they have a little more freedom. Even if it isn't factory backed, they may be more open to helping with development.
And get rid of so many control parts. Please V8SC, please.....
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