Single supplier earmarked for Holden V6 turbos

Planning is well underway for Holden's Gen2 engine program

Planning is well underway for Holden’s Gen2 engine program

Holden Motorsport boss Simon McNamara has revealed plans to consolidate the company’s V8 Supercars engine program to a single supplier as it prepares for a new era with V6 turbo power.

In a move that McNamara says could slash engine bills for its teams, Holden is planning for the development, homologation and rebuilds of the new generation engines to be controlled by a single firm.

Three companies – KRE, Walkinshaw Racing and Noonan Race Engineering – currently supply the various Holden squads, with each team having homologated their own bespoke versions of the base V8 engine.

Although McNamara stresses that nothing has been locked in for Holden’s Gen2 engine program, work is understood to be well underway for a switch to V6 turbo power.

As revealed by Speedcafe.com in March, the V6 turbo General Motors’ racing division has developed for Cadillac’s GT3 program is at the centre of the company’s discussions.

Computer modelling to fit the engine inside the control V8 Supercars’ chassis is already said to have taken place ahead of final decisions on how the program will unfold.

Holden confirmed in January its intentions to race its next-generation Commodore in the championship when the Gen2 rules are introduced, leaving the focus on its choice of powerplant.

“I want to bring the engine costs down significantly,” McNamara told Speedcafe.com of his aims for the Gen2 engines.

“We will probably have one engine person looking after all the Holden teams, rather than every team having one.

“It would take a massive amount of cost out of a team’s budget. It’s not sustainable to have four or five different engine builders doing their own thing for each team. They chase speed and that’s money.

“We need to get teams and the category around what the horsepower should be, but I don’t want to have an engine that gives 11/10ths all day.

“We’d rather have it at a level an engine can run for 4,000-5,000km without having to take the top off.”

McNamara affirmed that his department has been communicating closely with V8 Supercars, which is building up its own V6 turbo from a GM block and cylinder head as its works to finalise the Gen2 regulations.

The V8 Supercars engine is being developed by category engine contractor Craig Hasted in Brisbane and will be used for track testing inside the existing Holden Car of the Future prototype.

Whether the eventual Holden race engines come from America in near race-ready form, or are designed and built locally from US-sourced parts like the current V8s remains to be seen.

Confirming that the Cadillac engine is one of several options being assessed, McNamara says there is no rush to finalise plans.

“I’m talking to North America and other parts of our business of what engines we can get,” he said.

“We are fortunate in that we’ve got a motorsport operation in the US that spends a stack more money than I do in a number of different areas.

“We’re working through our options, but there’s plenty of time to make sure the package is right.

“We’re still going through all the available data we’ve got seeing what fits and what doesn’t and what needs to be changed.”

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