V8 Supercars to welcome new engines and body shapes in 2017
FROM 2017, the V8 Supercars series will be overhauled with a plan to welcome more brands and variety. Turbocharged four and six-cylinder engines will be allowed, along with different body shapes.
In the next 12 months two working groups - one focussing on engine configuration and the other body configuration - will draft technical specifications and rules to ensure parity across the field. The rules will ensure no engine or body configuration has any advantage or disadvantage.
Vehicles will still need to be front engine, rear-wheel drive and four-seat configuration.
According to V8 Supercars, the "Gen2 Supercar" model is designed to be more relevant to more manufacturers, race teams, sponsors and fans.
"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."
Today's announcement follows hot on the heels of Ford's decision to cull its racing involvement in Australia after next year.
Prodrive Racing (Australia) (PRA) has raced under the guise of Ford Performance Racing since the team's inception in 2003, acting as Ford Australia's primary manufacturer team throughout this period.
"Ford Australia's decision to not extend its commercial relationship with our team beyond the end of next season is extremely disappointing for our large and loyal fan base, but as a business this decision now allows us to concentrate on our long-term future," PRA chief executive officer Tim Edwards said.
"We have enjoyed a highly-successful relationship with Ford Australia with just shy of 50 race wins, 150 podiums and the last two Bathurst 1000 crowns together.
"This on track success, along with the engineering and commercial strength that underpins our racing activities, provides us with a very viable business and a strong platform for our future in the sport.
"We will run the new FG X Falcon next season as planned with support from Ford, and we'll possibly campaign the car in 2016 ahead of the major regulation changes coming from 2017."