BNT V8s are here to say – according to the category’s management team.
Yesterday, Motorsport New Zealand announced that they would not be renewing the BNT V8s as the New Zealand Touring Car Championship class.
Rather, the upcoming TCR championship which is scheduled to begin in late 2020 will be replacing the series that in recent years have struggled immensely to draw in crowd and competitor numbers.
“The BNT V8s Championship would publicly like to thank Motorsport New Zealand for their involvement in the popular class over the past 24 years.
We are excited to be moving in a new, independent direction for top tier V8 racing in New Zealand and are looking forward to unveiling the first shipment of new generation cars at Hampton Downs at the end of March,” said Category Manager Gary Lathrope.
The class initially were set to launch their next-gen cars for the start of the 2020 summer series but was delayed with no further notice of when the cars would be unveiled.
According to the NZ V8 touring car report, the next-generation car is designed to be a cost-effective platform for circuit racing in New Zealand, the Chromoly space frame chassis will feature bolt-on front and rear crash structures for ease of repair in the event of a collision.
At the heart of the car will be a 6.2L LS3 race engine developing 630hp at 7200rpm. Other body style cars will have the option of other manufacturer engines.
Mustangs, Camaros and Dodge Challengers are supposedly all eligible to compete under the next-generation of car regulations.
The BNT V8s were disappointed at the news, saying the wished to have run side-by-side with TCR as NZ’s top tier of Touring Car class.
“We feel a strong TCR field would have added to the New Zealand motorsport ‘summer show’. We also think the two categories could have run on the same bill at our top events but that hasn’t happened,”added Lathrope.
However, with the next-generation car due to be publicly unveiled this March, the category is hopeful that it will mark the turning point for the class.
“We’ll debut something new at the Speedworks Events Hampton Downs round in March which will point the way forward for us – the first shipment of new generation cars is on its way. The category board is excited and so are the competitors – on both sides of the Tasman.
“There’s genuinely more interest in that route than anything we have tried to do in recent years to build the class and we are confident it is the best way forward.”
Currently, the series operates a myriad of classes for different generations of car, including an open-class that can see highly modified and tuned V8 powered cars race alongside the series. Notable entries of the open-class are Sam Collins Mustang, Nick Chester’s Holden Supertourer and Simon Evans’ Wet and Forget Holden which boasts 750+ HP, paddle-shift transmission, traction control and ABS.
Whether there would remain room for these cars to enter the category under the next-gen car remains unknown but will likely be released at Hampton Downs next March.