Home' Supercar Xtra : Apr May 2019 Issue 110 Contents 60 SUPERCARXTRA
Camaro you can bet he wanted it on the track as quickly
as he could, just not within the current constraints.
“We’ve been really clear that our ambitions are to race
a Camaro in Supercars but currently with the chassis and
the roll hoop where it is, you’d have to bastardise the
aesthetics of the car so much, as you’ve seen with the
Mustang,” says Walkinshaw.
“For us, particularly as the people who are bringing the
Camaro in with Holden, we’ve got a significant incentive,
that any of our marketing, particularly on the race track,
want to ensure that the race car represents the aesthetic
integrity of the road.
“So, if and when Supercars change the roll hoops,
change the chassis to allow more two-door exciting
products into the category we’ll be exploring that oppor-
tunity again. At the moment it’s dormant because we’re
waiting to see what happens with the chassis. They’re
(Supercars) investigating from what my understand-
ing is. We’re obviously pushing that because we’d like
to open that door.”
Even those at Ford who’ve just jumped through hoops
with the current Mustang are keen to look at changes.
Ford’s global racing director Mark Rushbrook expressed
support for Supercars’ current study.
“We definitely understand the rules we had to deal
with to get the Mustang on the track like it is today, we
have a good understanding for that,” says Rushbrook.
“For sure when a change is made on that magnitude
[roof height], even though it may seem small, its big in
terms of the general effect. We have some understand-
ing of where we would like to see it go and maybe when.
They are taking the right approach to study and under-
stand across different OEMs what is best for the future
of the series and then to work with partners to work out
how to get there and when.”
Holden, just like Nissan, Volvo, Erebus Motorsport
with the AMG Mercedes-Benz and Ford with the Mus-
tang, have gone through the same process of getting a
car that doesn’t fit to fit.
In 2003 Project Blueprint defined the cars that were
raced in a tighter fashion than previously. This was the
first big step towards controlling the physicality of the
cars. Previous Supercars had to be modified a little to
fit the dimensions. All of a sudden, then, the Commo-
dore had to run the front suspension from a Falcon and
the running gear was standardised in many other ways,
except the engine.
Next came the Car of the Future from 2013, when
the sport essentially moved into a silhouette category.
The chassis was standard and sat on a control floorpan.
All you had to do was make the body and panels fit and
find a V8 engine to use to go racing.
The goal was to bring other manufacturers in: Ford
and, to a lesser degree Holden, could not be the only cus-
todians of the category with their local manufacturing
plants closing. Erebus decided it wanted to race an AMG
Mercedes-Benz. Nissan was in too with a set of Altimas
out of Kelly Racing. Then Volvo joined the party with
the most radical Supercar yet, the much smaller S60.
Now, the Mercedes has gone, Volvo has gone and
Nissan has withdrawn its factory backing. To top it off,
the Falcon was retired and the Commodore was now a
European hatchback. Something had to change. Two-
door cars were now allowed and Ford was going to get
the Mustang up and running.
When you see it in the flesh you don’t notice the
stretched wheelbase or longer body, but there is the high
roof line. And that is perhaps all Walkinshaw could see,
especially given the Camaro is shorter and lower again.
The solution isn’t that complex. The rules could easily
be rewritten to drop the height of the car and the roll
cage would need to be redesigned to drop the roll hoop.
Then, as with the current cars, it’s simply about getting
the aero balance right.
Most car brands have a big two-door coupe. And, with
engine options opened up since the implementation of
the Gen2 rules, there are alternatives.
Lowering the control chassis and making it more
coupe-friendly seems a given with the future clearly for
Mustangs, Camaros and the like in Supercars.
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