Since 1994, ‘The Great Race’ has played out at Australia’s spiritual home of motorsport, Mt. Panorama, to the soundtrack of high-revving V8 engines, but this weekend’s Bathurst 1000 will be one step closer to the end of that era.
It’s not all bad news, though. In fact, depending on where your automotive allegiances lie, it could be seen as a very good thing. Because from 2019, an open engine standard will apply. To level the playing field, horsepower, weight and rev limits will apply in the ‘Gen2 Supercar’, but it’s obvious that turbo technology is going to play a big role in the future of this series.
Leading the charge is Red Bull Holden Racing, who recently revealed their next generation race car, based on the forthcoming 2018 Holden Commodore. This car will be raced in wildcard Supercars events next year, ahead of a full championship assault in 2019. At its heart is a Holden 3.6-liter twin-turbo V6 engine featuring an F1-inspired electronic throttle control, air-to-air intercoolers and pneumatic wastegate control. Output is 650hp.
It’s the same engine that’s been fitted to RBHR’s Holden Sandman stationwagon, which will be demonstrated at Bathurst over the course of this weekend. This is no ordinary wagon though; under the skin is sedan chassis #888-032 from the 2013 Supercars season, which after being retired was transformed by Triple Eight Race Engineering with the unique bodywork.
Although V8s will still be eligible to compete in 2019, many staunch Supercar fans have lambasted the new regulations which will no doubt see many more teams going down the boost route (old wounds, perhaps?). In fact, V6 twin-turbo packages around 3.5-liters will most likely dominate the field.
From where we’re sitting it doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all, and in the just-released video above featuring the new Sandman V6 TT, you can get a taste of what’s to come.