NZ V8s organisers reveal Gen II plans

The BNT V8s Championship will welcome two-door bodyshapes next season pic: Mark Curran

Organisers of New Zealand’s BNT V8s Championship have revealed the first details about its new-generation two-door cars which will be introduced next season.

Known as Gen II, the platform will see the introduction of two-door bodies in the form of the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro, and Dodge Challenger from 2019/20.

The chassis will be built be Mitchell Race Xtreme, and based on the existing Class One TLX machinery which they will race alongside of.

“A lot of time and effort has been put into looking at the future of the class, with it seen as important for the cars to remain current and relevant and having new look cars on the track,” said Category Manager Gary Lathrope.

“Nick Mitchell from Mitchell Race Xtreme and Luke Dinsdale from Dinsdale Race Engineering are collaborating to finalise the car design.

“The current Mitchell TLX chassis will be the base for the new car with improvements learnt from the current chassis.

“The intention is to get the first car underway as soon as possible to make the start of the 2019/20 season.”

Regulations are still being finalised, but the existing Class One cars will continue to be eligible and are expected to remain competitive under BNT V8s’ parity procedures.

According to organisers, other two- or four-door bodyshapes may also be allowed into the series upon request from competitors.

Nick Ross and Lance Hughes, who currently campaign a Nissan Altima and a pair of Holden VE Commodores in Class One, are set to make the switch to Gen II cars next season.

“I know Lance is interested in building Camaros, and I think a Dodge Challenger would look fantastic on track,” said Ross.

“As competitors this is something we are excited about and look forward to seeing it come to fruition.

“These new look cars such as Mustang, Camaro and Challenger and others will give an exciting new look to the championship going forward.”

Organisers say that the cars are likely to be available from Mitchell Race Xtreme as turnkey or in kit form.

The series is currently contested in two classes, with former V8 SuperTourers and NZV8 TLX cars in Class One and older NZV8 TL cars in Class Two, after the merger of the series in 2015.

Represented on the grid are Holden Commodore, Ford Falcon, Nissan Altima, and Toyota Camry bodyshapes.

Australian Jack Smith, who is a team-mate of Hughes at Hamilton Motorsports, leads the series after two rounds with Round 3 at Highlands Motorsport Park on January 12-13.

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