Home' Supercar Xtra : Oct Nov 2017 Issue 101 Contents 33
“We’ll carry on doing it with Supercars’ input behind
closed doors to make sure it rolls out properly around
the middle of next year.
“We need to make sure that it’s competitive whilst
sticking to the Supercar guidelines. If we were allowed
to roll it out and give it its head it would be more than
competitive. The power is not an issue.”
Again, the strict controls from Supercars on what is
allowed forms the base constraints of this project. For
the first time, however, Triple Eight is handling the full
development of the bodyshell with Holden.
The Car of the Future specs control the running gear
and the chassis, so this job is just about a bit of stretch-
ing and bending to get the shell to fit the chassis.
The new Commodore has almost the same wheel-
base as a current Supercar and is almost the right
width and length, too, so there really isn’t that much to
it, except moving it from a front-wheel-drive platform
to rear-wheel-drive, or more specifically, going from a
transverse engine to a longitudinal one. That means it
is all down to aero and the parity process.
Previously Dane would have leant heavily on Ludo
Lacroix for this sort of work but his departure to DJR
Team Penske has meant some shuffling of staff. A few
engineers have some new challenges to face and an extra
one or two have come into the place, such as ex-Formula
1 technical director Sam Michael.
The challenge, as ever, is to make the most efficient
car possible within the specs outlined by Supercars.
This means drag and front and rear downforce will be
matched to the current batch of cars.
In terms of downforce and drag, the only real issue is
the sleeker back of the hatchback car versus the booted
rear end of the current car. But it was no biggie, says
Dane, who adds that the sleeker option is not necessarily
any more efficient than the boot. In fact, he says when
he ran Vectras in Europe many years ago they tested
both boot and hatch and went with the boot, which they
found was the better option.
Dane’s operation has been involved in the develop-
ment of both Falcon and Commodore Supercars in
the past. He says the team relishes the chance to get
involved at the start of a project.
“This is a bit more extensive in that we’re doing the
complete development of the car, whereas with the VE,
we took over an existing and homologated car, as it
were, which was already being run by other teams when
we started with Holden in 2010,” he adds.
“It was a collaborative exercise with what was then
Holden Racing Team and ourselves. And this is a bigger
undertaking, to be honest; it’s more like when we did the
original FG back in 2008. There’s no question, if Ludo
was still here, he’d be involved. But Ludo leaving us gave
us the opportunity to allow other people to step up and
also to bring in new blood. That’s something I’m very
“I think it’s very easy to get sort of stuck in your
ways, if you like. And, yes, those ways served us well
over the years.
ABOVE: Holden’s last six-cylinder was the Torana GTR-XU1. BELOW: Triple Eight is leading the way
for the development of the new Commodore Supercar.
“I certainly have said it quite a few times that it was
time to change. And I can see that on a day-to-day basis.”
Dane and his team will juggle the challenge of trying
to beat the Falcons out of DJR Team Penske while
developing something great for next year. The Ford
teams will continue with the Falcon, so they have a
known program. The only real change in 2018 will be
“I prefer to let our actions do the talking while other
people talk everything up for themselves,” says Dane.
“We’re working really hard and everyone’s been trying
to make sure that we don’t lose sight of the program
this year as well. But we’ve also got to keep working
really hard on next year’s program, which is a pretty big
“It’s more complicated with the slow logistics
because of where the base car is built; it is no longer
just Adelaide for us and that does make it more com-
plicated than previous projects. But, yeah, it’s more
interesting and exciting.”
V8X101 p30-33 Holden.indd 33
22/9/17 10:29 am
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