Eliminating ‘elitist’ Supercars engine could entice new manufacturers

The Gen3 Camaro and Mustang prototypes at Mount Panorama in 2021

Supercars’ Head of Motorsport, Adrian Burgess, is hopeful a key Gen3 regulation change could make it easier for new manufacturers to enter.

The Gen3 formula is set to debut at the start of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship after years of work behind the scenes.

Supercars’ first-ever control chassis is a key element in the longevity of the ruleset, with the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang body panels built around the same base.

Last week Ford unveiled its new-look S650 Mustang which will race in Supercars next season.

Gen3 also sees different engine capacities between the two brands, after nearly 30 years of 5.0 litre V8 engines.

The Camaro will run a 5.7 litre motor, while the Mustang will be fitted with a 5.4 litre Coyote.

Burgess explained the move away from the “elitist” 5.0 litre V8 engine offers a more “de-stressed” product.

“It’s what’s going to allow us to bring in other manufacturers,” he told Speedcafe.com of Gen3 overall.

“It’s a lower chassis that the Mustang looks like a Mustang now, we haven’t had to stretch it and pump it out to make it fit on the chassis.

“The [Gen2] chassis was old for us, we needed to update it to remain relevant and to have the door open if manufacturers want to come in.

“That’s the same with the engine platform and de-stressing the engine; we won’t have a 5.0 litre V8 that is stressed.

“You won’t find a better V8 than our current one, it’s pumping out 660 horsepower. It’s a bloody good engine, but it’s on the edge all the time.

“[The Gen3 engines] will be a little bit de-stressed. So we’ll get more miles out of it and it’s cheaper to build.”

Over the years, manufacturer involvement in Supercars has seen a decline, with Holden set to exit the sport at the end of this season.

Volvo, Mercedes, and Nissan have all come and gone from Supercars, with Ford and Holden’s parent brand General Motors remaining involved.

Burgess suggests more flexibility in the engine platform could be a drawcard for new manufacturers.

“For sure one of the objectives [of Gen3] was to keep the cost of going racing down, but equally the barriers to entry,” he said.

“Nissan struggled, and Merc struggled to match our current V8s when they came in.

“They never really got on top and spent a lot of money trying to get to the level of the incumbents.

“So we’ve taken that elitist engine out of the system and we’ve now got an easier platform should someone want to come in and it’s an easier target to hit.”

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