Gen 2 Supercars to bring V8s back to the future

BLUEPRINT: V8 Supercars has outlined its view to the future. But what impact will it have on the sport moving forward?

While the V8 will remain for some time yet, the governing body of the V8 Supercars has confirmed it will open up the sport to new engine and body configurations from 2017.

V8 Supercars says the series, known as Gen2 Supercar, will mean the sport will have increased relevance to manufacturers, race fans, teams and sponsors.

“It is imperative to keep the sport relevant to the current environment, entertaining and, critically, viable for the race teams,” V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said.

“The current climate in world motorsport is absolutely clear. Manufacturers want choice in what they go racing with, otherwise they won’t participate. They want their DNA represented and so do we. We will not compromise our DNA – fast, loud and fierce racing.

“The sheer brute power and sound of V8 Supercars is synonymous with the sport. A key area will be retaining the acoustic effect of high powered race cars no matter the engine or make.”

The addition of Volvo, Nissan and Erebus Motorsport (AMG E63) to the series in 2013 was the first step towards the 2017 plan. And, it’s been very successful.

Having ‘traditional’ V8 Supercar drivers such as Todd Kelly switching to drive for the new brands certainly helped the transition – from what has been a two-make series for two decades. Plus, luxury car maker Lexus has expressed interest in joining the series and is believed to be in ‘high level’ discussions.

The 2017 White Paper means the current V8 Supercars could be joined by turbo-charged six or four cylinder engines from 2017.

The new format is not surprising given that the local manufacturers have both confirmed they will cease production of the current models on which the series is based from next year. Ford’s announcement earlier this week that it was withdrawing from the sport from the end of next year has also had a major impact on the sport’s future.

Ironically, the new plans bring the sport almost back full circle – harking back to what the Australian Touring Car Championship looked like in the 1990s – when cars such as the Nissan Skyline GT-R, Ford Sierra and BMW M3 raced.

So what will be the new rules?
The high level guidelines dictate the following:
1.The car must be publicly available for sale in Australia
2.Front engine
3.Right hand drive
4.Full four-seat configuration
5.Rear wheel drive
6.Accurately reflect the look of the road car and;
7.Retain the essential DNA of the sport.

All cars will use the existing Car of the Future chassis and control components, and be subject to engine and aero parity rules.

“The rules will ensure no engine or body configuration has any advantage or disadvantage over another,” a V8 Supercars statement said.

“The groups will be headed by V8 Supercars’ motorsport department which will be tasked with making recommendations to the V8 Supercars Commission which includes representatives of V8 Supercars, race teams and independents.

“These groups will consult with participating manufacturers and teams throughout the process.

“The technical groups will aim to publish draft engine and body style operating guidelines for discussion by mid-2015.

“These guidelines will be defined towards the end of 2015, allowing testing to commence from February 2016.”

A new category logo will be rolled out from 2015 featuring a stylised ‘SC’ with S in red and C in white with V8 Supercars positioned underneath to make way for the engine transition from 2017.

Do you think the Gen2 Supercars series will be a change for the better?

Two vehicle registration changes come into effect

GREEN LIGHT: Reforms introduced designed to cut time and money when registering vehicles in NSW, especially for older drivers.

GREEN LIGHT: In NSW, light vehicles more than five years old need a pink slip before registration can be renewed to ensure safety of the vehicle.

Two important changes to NSW vehicle registration have just been implemented.

The changes include:

  1. Extending the time light vehicle safety inspection reports, or pink slips, are valid from six weeks to six months,
  2. Improving the registration system for pensioners to make it simpler and more accessible.

The extension of the ‘pink slip’ validity period means that car owners can arrange a safety inspection at the same time as getting their car service if registration is due in the next six months.

Although the inspection report will be valid for six months, registrations may only be renewed up to 90 days before the registration expiry date. These changes apply to light vehicle registration renewal inspections only. Public passenger vehicles are not included. A 42 day validity period remains in place where the inspection report is for vehicle sale purposes or “change of ownership”.

“We’ve also removed unnecessary registration renewal steps for pensioners by developing an automatic renewal system.” said Roads Minister, Duncan Gay.

The previous system required pensioners to contact the RMS to obtain a receipt number to validate their registration concession and finalise registration. Now, pensioner registration renewal, including concession validation will be automatically updated once inspection and insurance confirmation is received.

This means eligible pensioners do not need to go online, call the contact centre, or visit a registry or service centre to renew their registration – it will automatically happen.

For pensioners with vehicles under five years old, a safety inspection will not be needed. Pensioners can also ensure their vehicle registration has been finalized by checking their registration status at this website.

Do you think these are sensible reforms? What other reforms would you like to see the government make to simplify vehicle registration?

For more registration information visit: Roads and Maritime – Registration.

Storm decides slippery NRMA Sydney 500

day3

HIGH VIZ GLAMOUR: NRMA Patrols get things underway on the final day of the V8 Supercars season in a cloudy Homebush Bay.

The fiercely contested battle for second place in the V8 Championship was disappointingly decided by the weather, not the racing, as rain once again played havoc at the final round of the V8 Supercars in Sydney today.

For the second time this weekend racing was suspended – this time at lap 45 of 74 – and was eventually cancelled due to the torrential weather as thunderstorms hit Sydney Olympic Park during the NRMA Sydney 500.

"It's too dangerous mate; we all want to race, but ... it's scary out there" Holden's Shane van Gisbergen

“It’s too dangerous mate; we all want to race, but … it’s scary out there” Holden’s Shane van Gisbergen

With Mark Winterbottom forced to the back of the grid on the first lap (after being tagged on the first corner) Shane Van Gisbergen was set to take second in the championship from the beginning.

Van Gisbergen – known for his courageous wet weather driving – was a man on a mission early in the race. He took the lead of the race by lap three and led the race for the majority of the remaining 40 laps.

Tyre and fuel stops looked to play a part in the final standings however the race cancellation didn’t allow any of the team’s strategies to play out.

The storm hit Homebush Bay on lap 37 and by lap 40 the poor conditions triggered a safety car. The slippery, poorly drained street circuit quickly became flooded creating treacherous conditions that echoed yesterday. Race directors suspended the race five laps later.

The race was finally called with Van Gisbergen in first spot, Garth Tander in second and James Courtney in third. With Winterbottom down in position 23, Van Gisbergen took second place in the 2014 Championship.

Lowndes, who was also in the second place fight, struggled throughout the final race of the season after his crash yesterday left him with broken ribs.

The final championship tally saw Jamie Whincup in the top spot with 3364 points. The next three positions were separated by just 122 points with Van Gisbergen in second on 2778, 15 points ahead of Mark Winterbottom and Craig Lowndes in fourth on 2656.

Final standings:Race 37

1. Jamie Whincup 3364
2. Shane Van Gisbergen 2778
3. Mark Winterbottom 2763
4. Craig Lowndes 2656

 

 

Racegoers, did you go to the NRMA Pit Stop? Let us know what you thought!

Whincup reigns as Sydney deluge floods concrete canyon

SAFETY FIRST:  On lap 18 race directors deployed the safety car to slow the race as the cars were aquaplaning down the straight at just 60km/h. By lap 19 the race was suspended due to the treacherous conditions with all cars called into pit lane.

SAFETY FIRST: On lap 18 race directors deployed the safety car to slow the race as the cars were aquaplaning down the straight at just 60km/h.

 

Torrential rain marred the second race of today’s NRMA Sydney 500 with the race ending under a safety car.

The dark clouds descended on Olympic Park and the thunder rumbled across the mountains just minutes before the start. 

darkness-fallsThe heavens opened on lap 13 and it was a mad rush to get in to the pits to change to wet weather tyres. Water flooded the track within three laps with some drivers calling for the race to be red flagged. 

On lap 18 race directors deployed the safety car to slow the race as the cars were aquaplaning down the straight at just 60km/h. By lap 19 the race was suspended due to the treacherous conditions with all cars called into pit lane.

The cars returned to the track behind the safety car on lap 21 and Jamie Whincup led the cars across the finish line for the second time in the day with the last lap called at lap 23 of 37. 

“That was probably the worst conditions I have ever been in,” Craig Lowndes told Channel 7.

Whincup claimed the V8 Supercars Championship crown two weeks ago at Phillip Island but that didn’t mean the competition was not fierce earlier today. The battle for second place raged with all three contenders suffering setbacks during the day.

Craig Lowndes came to grief in qualifying and was in doubt to even start race one after a heavy hit at turn six which triggered a safety car and the end of the session with one minute left on the clock. The early finish to qualifying saw Shane Van Gisbergen start way down the pack in 19th. Mark Winterbottom started the race on the third row before coming to grief in the race. 

whincuoWhincup joined Davison on the front row for the first race and despite having the championship sewn up,  Whincup did not slow on the tough street circuit. The champion elect went on to take victory in race one. Davison was forced to retire due to a power steering issue which saw him out of the entire round.

Lowndes’ crash saw him start down the order and ended up 13th overall. Shane Van Gisbergen was a casualty of the early finishing qualifying and finished sixth while Winterbottom crashed early in the race and ended up finishing 23rd. 

After race one Mark Winterbottom led Lowndes by 80 points and Lowndes and van Gisbergen were separated by just 21 points.

All points were allocated for the second race with the race being declared “run”. The wash up saw Winterbottom in second place in the championship points with van Gisbergen in third and Lowndes in fourth going into tomorrow’s race.

Did you watch the race? What was your favourite moment?

Double the high and still getting off

Untitled-3

Alarming drug driving statistics released last week by the NSW Police highlights the need to crack down hard on people caught driving high.

According to NSW Police, since January 1, random drug-testing operations have seen 29,500 drivers tested and 1,160 return positive results for drugs in their system, compared to 729 drivers out of 34,280 in 2013.

More than one-in-10 (11%) NSW road fatalities involved a motorist or motorcyclist who had illicit drugs in their system. Forty per cent of drug driving offences and fatal crashes involved a driver under the age of 30.

Analysis undertaken by NRMA earlier this year, showed that almost one-in-three drivers (488) convicted of a first offence for drug driving in NSW from 2010 to 2012 walked free after receiving a Section 10, were convicted without penalty, or had no conviction recorded.

NRMA President Kyle Loades said the number of people caught driving with drugs in their system had doubled and it was clear that some drivers were not getting the message that this type of anti-social behaviour was not on.

“The vast majority of drivers appreciate how stupid and dangerous this behaviour is, now magistrates need to do their job and get these offenders off our roads,” Mr Loades said.

“NRMA welcomes the announcement of the package of measures to combat drug driving,” Mr Loades said.

“The party season is just around the corner and it is critical that these measures are implemented as soon as possible.

“NRMA will work with the NSW Government to develop and communicate this important message.”

“NSW Police is doing a great job but it cannot do this alone, all arms of the NSW Government need to work together if we are to tackle this growing threat.”

“No one wants to share the road with a drug driver,” Mr Loades said.

Does drug driving on our roads concern you? How should the police crack down on this behavior?