MARC Cars creator Ryan McLeod believes the latest version of his space frame racers is one of the most significant race cars built in Australia, but strongly denies it is a replacement for Supercars.
The MARC II V8, which has a 2018 Ford Mustang theme, will cut its first laps in anger at Queensland Raceway today before its competitive debut at the Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour just over a week later.
McLeod is also the owner of Racer Industries, which currently supplies several components to Supercars including wheels, fire systems, and fuel systems.
The MARC II chassis and suspension are built by PACE Innovations, which also builds the Supercars chassis, and the internals of the transmission are the same as in a Supercar.
That, however, is where the major similarities end according to McLeod.
“I can understand people trying to draw comparisons, but it’s an incredibly long bow,” he told Speedcafe.com.
“There is a close relationship with PACE and the internals of the transmission are the same as a Supercar, but that’s the only similarities and both of those are a stretch.
“There are really no parts that could transfer between our car and a current Supercar.
“We approached PACE, as our incumbent supplier of our MARC chassis and components, to develop the new car.
“We wanted to keep as many current parts as we could, so the suspension, the drive train, fuel system basically stayed the same (as the first-generation MARC Cars).
“The new chassis also has similar keystrokes to the current unit, but is different in that it’s got more current technology in terms of safety and performance, better materials and will only be available in left-hand-drive format.
“We think that in conjunction with PACE and our other technical partners we have developed something pretty special and cost efficient for competitors who want to do local and international endurance racing.”
McLeod said that he believed the new car represents a strong value proposition which will attract a wide cross-section of customers.
“We are just proud to have developed and manufactured this car in Australia and to be taking to some major markets around the world,” he explained.
“The car has met our design criteria. It will be fast, safe and economical. It allows drivers to compete in a wide variety of events, particularly endurance races.
“It’s robust and reliable, and can be easily serviced while away racing.
“Our customer base is a real kaleidoscope.
“Take a look at this year’s 12 Hour roster. It’s got a wide variety of drivers, from young guns to veterans, multiple Australian champions and Bathurst 1000 winners, gentleman racers and first timers.
“Our cars and our team provides for them all.”
McLeod also said that there had been huge interest in the MARC II since spy shots appeared on Speedcafe.com last week.
“Was I happy about those shots getting out? No, but I have to admit the feedback has been incredible,” he noted.
The car will be powered by the same 5.2-litre Coyote engine which features in the GT350 Mustang, potentially achieving output of 620hp, and the new car is also 100kg lighter than its predecessor.
It uses the same Albins transaxle as a Supercar but comes with paddle shifts rather than a stick shift.
Price is dependent on final specification, but is believed to be circa $320,000, as compared to approximately $600,000 for a brand new Supercar.
The MARC II also has relatively low running costs, underpinned by the $40,000 Coyote engine which has a life of 12,000km.
McLeod claims that a car bought outright but prepared and run by MARC would cost an average of $11/km.
Three of the MARC IIs are set to make their debuts in the Bathurst 12 Hour.
However, it is believed that the SPX class of the Creventic 24H Series, which began in Dubai earlier this month and also races in Europe and the US, is the main target.
The new-specification V8s will also be allowed to lap Mount Panorama at 2:06s, four seconds per lap faster than the original MARC Cars.
The Bathurst 12 Hour takes place on February 2-4.
|Chassis||Tubeframe, PACE Innovations|
|Suspension||Double wishbone independent with adjustable rate rockers, PACE Innovations|
|Body||Custom designed pre-preg carbon, multiple suppliers|
|Engine||MARC developed Coyote 5.2lt V8 620 Hp|
|Electronics||Data Loggers, Displays, Power Management and Engine Control by MoTec|
|Driver systems||Bosch M5 ABS, MoTec Traction control, DBW throttle control,
Quad Variable controlled camshafts, Electronic EPAS steering system,
JW Speaker LED Lighting System
|Wiring and application||Custom Wiring and Electrical – Gold Coast|
|Transmission||Customised ST6 Albins transaxle, with LSD final drive and MoTec paddle shift control|
|Wheels||Custom forged 18×13 rear, 18×12 front single nut, Rimstock UK|
|Cooling system||Custom radiator (Aluminium), PWR|
|Aerodynamics||Custom front splitter, rear diffuser, side skirts, and floor device, PACE Innovations|
|Rear wing||RaceTech Composites Lithuania|
|Dampers||Ohlins adjustable coil-overs|
|Weight||1160 kg + ballast to 1200kg race weight|
|Tyres||315 650 Front, 325 710 Rear, Pirelli|