The end of the V8 era has come six months early after Australia’s leading motorsport category announced a new naming rights sponsorship deal with Virgin Australia.
Heavily touted in recent weeks, V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton has officially confirmed the deal which will see the series renamed.
Already panned to drop the V8 moniker for the 2017 season, the new deal will see the series officially known as the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship from July 1.
However while the name has changed, Warburton was quick to add that V8 engines weren’t going anywhere.
“V8 engines will always be part of our sport,” said Warburton.
“But as we continue to open the door to new manufacturers and different engine configurations as part of the transition to the Gen2 regulations, we believe the time is right to move Supercars.”
From next season technical regulations open up to allow a myriad of other engine configurations, including smaller capacity turbo-charged engines.
The regulations were changed in an effort to lure more manufacturers into the sport.
Ford has already pulled the plug on its official involvement while Garry Rogers will meet with Polestar and Volvo representatives in Sweden this weekend to discuss the partnership’s future.
Take-up on Gen2 regulations has been slow and it’s largely expected that the current V8 configurations, and car shapes, will remain for at least another year if not longer.
Motorsport news courtesy of Velocity Magazine; Australia’s leading monthly motorsport magazine. Buy online at vmag.com.au