By Briar Gunther 3:47 PM Mon 29 March, 2010
Source: BigPond Sport
V8 Supercars Australia revealed today that the Car of the Future (CoF) plan has an ulterior motive: making the sport even bigger, both nationally and internationally.
While CoF is primarily designed to reduce costs for teams and ensure the viability of the category, V8 Supercars Australia (V8SA) Chairman Tony Cochrane envisages it will even help the sport grow.
“We’re trying to bring the build costs down to around $250,000 Australian (for a rolling chassis) and one of the key reasons why we are doing that is that will evolve into the second part of our plan which will probably be released towards the end of this year or maybe early next year which will see our teams needing to be able to turn their cars around in two weeks,” he said.
Cochrane pointed out that under the existing model having more than one spare car “for many teams would be an absolute stretch”.
He said with CoF locked in, the V8SA Board can now get “knee deep” into the future of the category.
“Now we’ve looked at Car of the Future I think we now have to spend the next 12 months really trying to bed down where we’re going to go for the next 10 years in terms of the Championship, how that’s going to impact on the Fujitsu Series, for example, how it’s going to impact on our 29 cars and the teams behind them and how it’s going to impact on the show in Australia.
“The show in Australia is very, very good now; we’ve got some exceedingly brilliant events,” Cochrane said, making special mention of the Clipsal 500 Adelaide and the Sydney Telstra 500 which bookend the Australian part of the Championship.
Head of the CoF project, Mark Skaife, acknowledged that the show must continue to improve.
“The big part of what we’re doing... is to make sure our entertainment act is very, very good,” he said.
“We know the quality of racing is imperative; we believe that we’ve got a fantastic product.
“We know that Ford and Holden’s traditional rivalry has served us well. The battle of Red versus Blue is a (part of the) social fabric of Australia; it’s a Labor versus Liberal, it’s Collingwood versus Carlton.
“In essence, it’s the best touring car product in this part of the world.”
Although the focus has been on CoF over the last 18 months, V8SA has begun to implement the beginnings of a plan to grow the sport.
The category has recently signed television deals with the Speed Channel in America and ESPN Star, which covers 24 Asian countries including China, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Phillipines.
This is on top of signing international music sensation P!nk as the face and Ambassador of V8 Supercars.