Walkinshaw fielding ‘genuine interest’ from manufacturers

A Gen3 specification Chevrolet Camaro pinctured in Walkinshaw Andretti United colours

Walkinshaw Andretti United boss Ryan Walkinshaw says there is genuine interest from manufacturers to join Supercars under Gen3 in 2022.

The Supercars team owner has long championed the introduction of the Chevrolet Camaro to the category, but hasn’t committed to running the platform when it arrives.

Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, Walkinshaw had been in discussions with ‘a couple’ of manufacturers to join the championship.

However, those talks fell over when COVID-19 hit.

Despite that, Walkinshaw has continued discussion with other manufacturers to join the championship in two seasons time.

“We had some strong interest at the end of last year pre-covid, and got very far along the line with one manufacturer that sadly got put on the backburner due to covid,” said Walkinshaw.

“But now we’re in discussions with a couple more brands and there’s genuine interest there. We’ll continue exploring that.

“How confident am I? It’s a pretty turbulent world out there at the moment. I haven’t got much confidence in having much foresight on anything of that nature. We’ll just do the best job that we can. Pitch it as strong as we can.

“Supercars have now given us the ammunition to go back and push those conversations further now that we’ve got more detail around Gen3, which is a positive thing.”

At this year’s Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, details surrounding the introduction of Gen3 were released.

Key in those details is the lowering of the roll hoop by 100mm, which will allow sports car silhouettes to easily be draped over the Gen3 chassis.

Walkinshaw said that information will give his team what it needs to hopefully turn “genuine interest” into a commitment to the category.

“The point of Gen3 was to be able to change the roll cage to be able to allow a bunch of different body shapes that currently wouldn’t fit under the current roll hoop,” Walkinshaw said.

“That’s been achieved. We had to lower it 60mm to 70mm for Camaro and it’s lowered even more than that.

“It’s exactly where it needs to be for Camaro. It’s also brought a lot of coupe products or gt-style products that currently we have no option to race.

“It just opens up the potential portfolio of brands that you can talk to, which is the key objective.

I think the important thing is now they’ve actually with the change of the chassis, we’ll be able to allow more body shapes to be designed upon it,” he added.

“That opens the doors up to a lot of other products in car companies portfolios which they actually want to go racing.

“Sporty cars as opposed to four-door sedans, which are not really marketed anymore as performance products for most brands.”

Walkinshaw said he could see the likes of Toyota bringing its Supra to the championship and Jaguar with its F-Type.

However, to date, the chassis has been prohibitive.

With the change forthcoming, he believes manufacturers may be more inclined to invest in the championship.

“All of these sexy, stylish, performance cars that currently there was no way we were going to race them in Supercars, that’s now an option,” Walkinshaw explained.

“At the end of the day, the proof will be in the pudding. We’re going to have to go out there and start investigating what the appetite is.”

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