Cochrane: No leniency for COTF introduction
V8 Supercars chairman Tony Cochrane has categorically ruled out the possibility of allowing teams to field current specification cars at next year’s season opener in Adelaide.
The championship’s Car of the Future regulations will come into force in 2013, leaving teams to collectively build between 30 and 40 race and spare cars before March’s Clipsal 500.
While continual delays in completing the regulations has increased the pressure on the teams, Cochrane has quashed suggestions that any leniency will given.
“None whatsoever,” Cochrane told Melbourne radio station SEN when asked of the possibility of any team carrying over their current equipment.
“If they were to do that they would be in violation of our rules and the penalties for that (missing events) are quite draconian.
“From memory I think it’s a $150,000 fine per car per outing, so you can quickly work out that it adds up to a tremendous amount of money.
“I am not aware of any team that is not well and truly in play now to have their Car of the Future on the grid in March of next year. I don’t see that as an issue whatsoever.
“We’ve got 28 cars and 18 very professional teams all with very strong support staff around them.
“While it is a big ask to make such a massive changeover, there’s never a perfect time (for such a change), and we’re all having to work pretty hard to make sure it’s a success from next year onwards.”
The 2013 debut date for the COTF was announced in January of 2011 after initial plans to use 2012 as a phase-in year were abandoned.
Cochrane also reaffirmed his belief that Ford, Holden and Nissan will be joined by a fourth manufacturer next season.
“We’ve obviously announced the addition of the third manufacturer with Nissan coming on board, and I don’t think it’ll be too much further before we see a fourth manufacturer join us for the 2013 season,” he said.
He added of the timing of any potential announcements: “That decision is in the hands of the manufacturers, it’s not in our hands.
“They’ll break cover when it best suits their program and when they think the moment is right in terms of the model and all of the other aspects that come into it.
“We’ve got very strong active discussions going with at least another two manufacturers (in addition to the rumoured ‘fourth’ entry), so there’s a lot of interest in the championship and in the footprint of the championship with the television rights globally now.”
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