Australian firm designing South African V8 series prototype

Friday 17th August, 2012 - 4:41pm

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A drawing of the prototype car currently being designed by Pace Innovations

The proposed series will be for medium sized bodyshapes such as the Ford Focus

The firm behind the design of Australia’s Car of the Future V8 Supercar and New Zealand’s V8 SuperTourer chassis, Pace Innovations, has started work on a prototype car for a new V8 touring car class in South Africa.

The cars in the proposed class will feature a control chassis fitted with a road-car based V8 engine, a transaxle gearbox and double-wishbone front and rear suspension.

While initial discussions had centered around the possibility of using the complete V8 SuperTourer or V8 Supercar regulations, a desire within the country for smaller body shapes than the Falcon and Commodore, as well as a lower cost technical package, saw the project change direction.

The prototype car will utilise a Ford Focus body and Ford Coyote engine. Although the chassis is being designed to accept a variety of engine options, an Australian-developed Coyote-based unit is likely to become a control item.

The project is being funded by private investors including South African racer Gary Formato, who tested a V8 SuperTourer prior to the start of the category’s inaugural season.

According to Pace Innovations owner and former South African resident Paul Ceprnich, the new category aims to bring together competitors from the country’s currently fragmented motorsport landscape.

“The idea is to create a definitive pinnacle formula in Africa and amalgamate the various categories they currently have that aren’t delivering what the motorsport public wants,” Ceprnich told Speedcafe.com.

“Getting a new series up and running is a stage-by-stage process, and the first stage for us is the design of the prototype. Once we get approval of that both technically and financially, we will build the prototype and send it to South Africa.

“It’s an exciting project, but we’re still a fair way away from having a series up and running. It won’t be until 2014 at the very earliest that we will have a full grid.”

Ceprnich added that, despite the desire for its own technical regulations, the new category hopes to enjoy “some sort of relationship” with both the New Zealand and Australian V8 classes in the future.

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