Whitaker hails new V8 championship name

The International V8 Supercars Championship will kick off in Abu Dhabi next month

The International V8 Supercars Championship will kick off in Abu Dhabi next month

V8 Supercars CEO Martin Whitaker says that the rebranding of the V8 Supercars Championship Series is a significant moment in the category’s history.

According to the 2011 V8 Supercars Operations Manual, the series will be known as the ‘International V8 Supercars Championship’ from this season.

While the World Touring Car Championship will continue to be the FIA’s premier touring car class, the new V8 Supercars name marks the first time since the 1996 International Touring Car Championship that the FIA has used the ‘international championship’ term for touring car racing.

The news of the name change comes after the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council voted to upgrade the category to ‘international status’ late last year.

The international status will stand for five years and will allow the category to hold 12 events in Australasia and six internationally.

Whitaker, who acted as Chairman of the Bahrain International Circuit before joining V8 Supercars last April, told Speedcafe.com.au that the name change reflects the increasing global reach of the category.

“It’s a big deal for us, and I think it speaks volumes for the championship,” he said of the new name.

“It underlines the competitiveness and the increasing international awareness that the championship has.”

While the the loss of Bahrain means that Abu Dhabi is the only event on the 2011 calender outside Australasia, events in Singapore and Korea are heavily rumoured for the future.

“(The international classification) now gives us a chance to build on Abu Dhabi and maybe a couple of other rounds in the not too distant future that will enable us the right to use the international nomenclature,” said Whitaker.

For more with Martin Whitaker, CLICK HERE for today’s Cafe Chat.

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