After being rumoured for some time, it’s now official: the Chevrolet Camaro will race in the Repco Australian Supercars Championship.
The introduction of the Camaro, which will be on track in ‘ZL1’ form in 2022, is partly the result of the ‘Gen3’ revamp of the existing Supercars racecar platform; a revamp designed to take the sport “into the future” with provision for hybrid powerplants built in, as well as the ability to accept other manufacturer’s vehicles.
The Gen3 revamp will also ensure the 2022-spec cars more closely resemble the production car equivalent, with the main panels (doors, bonnet, roof) and glass to be the same as the production car. In the case of the Ford Mustang (which currently sits on a Gen2 platform originally produced to suit the Ford Falcon), the Gen3 version will have a more authentic fastback shape, with both the Mustang and Camaro to be lower and wider than the current Gen2 racer.
Overall, Gen3 cars will be lighter by around 100kg, despite a larger capacity fuel tank, but downforce will be reduced by a claimed 200kg (around 50 per cent of the current level). Along with control parts aimed at reducing costs by as much as 40 per cent, the aero changes are designed to improve parity and bring a greater reliance on driver skill.
“We are thrilled to welcome a brand new race car design to the track in 2022,” said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer of the Camaro’s impending arrival. “The cars will retain their signature V8 engine format to ensure they’re fast and loud, but will be ‘hybrid ready’ and more closely resemble the road cars they are based on.
“These are incredible looking race cars that give a nod to the Supercar of the past, with as much attention given to the design and appearance of the cars as the new technologies.”
For Supercars teams currently running Holdens, most are expected to continue with the ZB Commodore racer for 2021, but how many will adopt the Camaro is unknown.
“We loved every minute of our 51-year involvement through Holden. There will never be another Holden, but we now welcome Camaro to the stage and hopefully a whole new generation of fans with it,” said Kristian Aquilina, Interim Chairman & Managing Director of General Motors Australia & New Zealand.
“The Camaro ZL1 Supercar will undoubtedly attract passion and excitement, as well as showcase the Chevy bowtie that is integral to our new GM Specialty Vehicles business.”