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Feature: Behind Supercars Gen3

The Gen3 rules are locked in for 2022, bringing the Camaro in as the replacement for the Commodore with less downforce, lower costs and a design more aligned with the road cars at the core of the new regulations, as we examine in the cover story of SupercarXtra Magazine issue #119.

09 December 2020

CLICK HERE for more information on issue #119.

On the release of the renderings showing the new Mustang and Camaro Gen3 race cars, Supercars spoke about the importance of the Ford-General Motors battle in Australian motorsport. 

In the late 1960s, it was Mustangs and Camaros doing battle with a brace of other vehicles confusing the party. The front of the grid for the 1968 Australian Touring Car Championship ““ the last of the single-race titles ““ was Ian Geoghegan on pole in a Ford Mustang and Norm Beechey in second in a Chevrolet Camaro.

No doubt the imagery of these two iconic muscle cars of the era will be rolled out extensively over the next few months and in the lead-up to 2022. You can also expect the newly formed GMSV to launch heavily off the activity as it first rolls out the Silverado ““ also prepared by Walkinshaw Performance ““ then the mouth-watering new Corvette and, eventually, maybe the Camaro again.

“We are thrilled to have an ongoing presence in this iconic championship with Camaro; it will be an exciting addition to the track and we can’t wait to witness its debut in the 2022 series” says Joanne Stogiannis, director of GMSV Australia and New Zealand.

“The arrival of Camaro will mark a new era for GM in the sport, one which allows for the continuation of both a proud heritage as well as fiercely-contested rivalries on the race track. Having seen some of the Camaro Supercar renderings, I have every expectation the new Camaro will help attract a new generation of race fans to tracks around Australia and New Zealand.

“The Triple Eight team has a proven pedigree, and we have every confidence they will ensure the race-going version will be a faithful representation of the road-going Camaro ZL1’s DNA.”
So the famous Chev badge will hit the streets on cars imported and sold by GM, not by people rebadging their Commodores. Once you have that picture, the arrival of the Camaro in the series starts to make a little more sense.

The last official Chev sold in Australia was actually built here from a kit back in 1968, 20 years after the emergence of Holden as an Australian automotive powerhouse.
Beechey echoed that trend ““ in 1968 it was the aforementioned Camaro and then in 1969 it was a Holden Monaro and the shift was complete. It was then Ford versus Holden, with some interlopers.

Now, though, we’ve got to re-educate race fans and re-attract some we lost in the past few years with the European-designed Commodore. Part of the task is easy; the new Gen3 cars look sensational and the cars will all be V8s, so there’ll be no more dabbling in the short-term with turbo-sixes and the like and the sport’s DNA remains strong.

Whether or not the Camaro is ever sold by GM in this country he says doesn’t matter, since there is a long history of popular touring cars in this country that have not been sold here: Kevin Bartlett’s Camaro, which ended up on its lid at Bathurst, the original green Mustangs from Dick Johnson in the 1980s and then the Ford Sierra and Nissan GT-Rs a little later are all iconic cars for our sport, and that is just touching the surface.

What matters is that the cars are firstly recognisable, and if you look at the early renders, that has been achieved; secondly, that the integral DNA of the sport is retained, and that looks the case as well from the specs; and thirdly, that the racing is close and fierce… so hopefully Supercars’ new technical team is on top of that too.

CLICK HERE to purchase issue #119 within Australia.

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CLICK HERE to purchase the digital edition of issue #119.