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This weekend, the Australian V8 Supercar Series heads to America for the first time in its storied history.
28 of Australia’s V8 Supercars will be competing in the first-ever U.S. V8 Supercars race on May 17-19 at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and they have just begun arriving in the States.
Ford and General Motors could have an all-too-familiar rival in the V8 Supercar series and despite some rumors, it won’t be from German or Japan. Hailing from the other side of the world, where they’re cross-town rivals, Chrysler is tipped as the latest possibly entry into the touring car championship.
Top Chrysler designer and CEO of the new Street and Racing Technology (SRT) brand Ralph Gilles confirmed as much recently, telling Australian outlet The Age, that, “I am extremely interested (in V8 Supercars),” though he stopped short of confirming anything.
According to Chrysler Group Australia managing director Clyde Campbell his division is in constant contact with SRT and even made some strong hints about the future, commenting that, as SRT is all about incorporating racing technology into street cars, having a strong racing presence is important.
A possible timeline for entry into the series could see Chrysler coming in at the start of next season with a new “Car of the Future” plan that would make fielding a team more affordable. Estimates peg a two car team at roughly $10 million dollars for a season. There’s a catch, however, as fielding a team takes more than just money. Current regulations mean Chrysler would have to enter the series using an existing team, meaning they’d have to woo one of the Ford or Holden groups away from their current partner.
While Chrysler putting so much effort into an Australian-market-exclusive product seems like a long shot, the series’ plans for the future include expanding the championship to a wider audience. The Australian V8 Supercar series has already visited the Middle East and is scheduled to run one race in Austin, Texas in 2013.
[Source: The Age]
The long-awaited rumors are true: Australia’s breathlessly-exciting V8 Supercars series is coming to America. But that’s not, the series has signed a five-year deal with Texas’s Circuit of The Americas, signaling a serious investment in the U.S. market.
Beginning in 2013, Americans in Austin, Texas and watching on the Speed Channel can get a glimpse of the rear-drive, V8 Ford Falcons and Holden Commodores that enthusiasts have pined for, for years.
“We’re thrilled the racing world is so excited about our facility,” said Steve Sexton, the track’s president. “Austin is poised to become the premiere North American destination for international motorsports. In addition to hosting the 4 wheel and 2 wheel world championships, the United States will now enjoy the world’s best touring car series here in Austin.”
The FIA recently sanctioned V8 Supercars as an international series, and its popularity—while always strong and booze-filled in Australia—is growing around the world. Circuit of The Americas will be a place to watch out for in the next few years as well; the triumphant return of F1 to these shores will take place there in 2012, and the MotoGP World Championship will be in 2013.
Now if you excuse me, I’ve got some plane tickets to book.
The famous Australian V8 Supercars series may be making the Trans-Pacific voyage to North America. Many world-renowned racing drivers like Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves, Jacques Villenueve and Sebatian Bourdais have moved to compete in the V8 racing. Furthermore, the international coverage of the series has grown immensely, prompting many international companies to invest in the series.
Organizers of the series have previously rejected the notion of coming to North America however, with all these factors aligned, the series would benefit from a new market. General Motors is also interested in the idea, which would hopefully begin as early as the 2013 season. In the meantime, organizers could hold a race as part of a stand-alone three-day weekend event like the Formula1 or Indy which have both had tremendous success in North America.
A massive accident occurred at the start of Australian V8 Supercars race at Barbagallo over the weekend, involving Karl Reindler and Steve Owen. Incredibly neither driver suffered any major injuries.
Reindler’s car stalled at the starting grid and it wasn’t long before Owen slammed into him at over 90-mph. Data showed the impact was a staggering 37G which resulted in a huge fire. Both drivers were able to escape their vehicles quickly with Owen unscathed (other than some soreness) and Reindler suffering minor burns to his face and hands. One of the major hazards of any form of racing, but thankfully safety is always a priority in building a formidable race car and this time it paid off.
Check out the video after the break.
Race car magnate Tom Walkinshaw has died at age 64 after being diagnosed with lung cancer. Walkinshaw began his career as a driver, and then established legendary firm Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR) in 1976, and contested European and Australian motor racing, with his team winning the Bathurst 1000 endurance race in 1985.
TWR was also a major behind the scenes player in the motor racing world, working with teams like Benetton, Ligier and Arrows and attracting the best driving talent, including Damon Hill and Michael Schumacher. TWR’s long affiliation with Australia also extended to Australian V8 Supercars, specifically the Holden Racing Team, and the establishment of Holden’s HSV tuning arm.
[Source: BBC Sport]