Thursday, 29 June 2017 18:03

Supercars Gen2: Fork in the road

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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 That means the Supercar version of the new imported Commodore will most likely be racing a bunch of superseded and phased out cars, including its own predecessor.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.

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Event Date
Adelaide 500 1-4 March
2018 Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 22-25 March
Tyrepower Tasmania SuperSprint 6-8 April
WD-40 Phillip Island 500 20-22 April
Perth SuperSprint 4-6 May
Winton SuperSprint 18-20 May
CrownBet Darwin Triple Crown 15-17 June
Watpac Townsville 400 6-8 July
Coates Hire Ipswich SuperSprint 20-22 July
Red Rooster Sydney SuperSprint 4 August
The Bend SuperSprint 24-26 August
Sandown 500 14-16 September
Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 4-7 October
Vodafone Gold Coast 600 19-21 October
ITM Auckland SuperSprint 2-4 November
Coates Hire Newcastle 500 23-25 November

 

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Pos

 Driver

 Points

 1

 Shane van Gisbergen

3054

 2

 Scott McLaughlin

2999

 3

 Jamie Whincup 

2716

 4

 Craig Lowndes

2487

 5

 David Reynolds

2435

 6

 Fabian Coulthard

2114

 7

 Rick Kelly

2098

 8

 Chaz Mostert

2048

 9

 Scott Pye

1906

 10

 Tim Slade

1862

 Full points table