Car of the Future to launch after Darwin

The Car of the Future chassis

The Car of the Future chassis

Look for V8 Supercars’ Car of the Future to be unveiled shortly after the next event at Hidden Valley Raceway in Darwin.

The much-anticipated car, set to be introduced into the sport across the entire category in 2013, is expected to get its first track hit-out at Queensland Raceway, driven by COF leader Mark Skaife.

The COF is a control chassis, with almost all components of the cars identical, except the engines and the bodywork.

Besides the improved parity between teams, the new car will include advanced safety features, car build costs will be significantly reduced and repairability times improved.

The COF will be made up of a control floor plan and roll cage with minor variation to accommodate various bodywork. The cars will be easier to produce for teams and come in a flat pack kit form.

There are two COF prototypes under construction at Paul Ceprnich’s Pace Innovations engineering company – the first of which will be seen soon.

V8 Supercars’ Car of the Future has been a huge project for the V8 organisation – in a design, construction, marketing and promotion sense.

New V8 Supercars general manager of communications Sam Heard will play a big part in the public roll-out of the COF. In fact, COF is Heard’s first big task at the organisation.

“Now that the sale (of V8 Supercars) has been done, my focus is working on a roll-out strategy for Car of the Future and how we communicate that message out to the teams, the media and the fans,” he said.

“The Car of the Future is an extremely significant product for the sport, and it is something that we want to get right.

“We need to make sure we do it well and make sure that we do a good job of it so everyone understands why we’re doing it and where it is going to take the sport.”

Heard is the former head of marketing of sport at Network Ten and has been to a countless number of V8 events during the network’s former broadcast deal (1997-2006). Heard attended his first V8 Supercars event in his new position at Winton last weekend and used the time to get a “lay of the land.”

“At the moment, I’m just collating information,” he said.

“I’ve been speaking to various teams, people in our own organisation, the media and a variety of people on topics on what we think we can do different or better.

“It has been helpful to get a lot of that information. I’ve already started on a strategic document of our communications structure, but there’s not too much I can do on that until you know what you need to do.

“There’s an enormous amount of positive things happening in the sport. There’s so many great things going on that we want to capture and harness. It’s just a matter of picking out the bits that we can make the most of.”

The next round of the V8 Supercars Championship will be held at Hidden Valley Raceway on June 17-19.

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