Supercars was expected to announce at Bathurst this weekend that it will commission a Chevrolet Camaro prototype to the Gen3 rules.
In fact, it was confirmed this morning, that The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will join the Supercars Championship grid in 2022, under the category’s new Gen3 rule package.
Supercars and Chevrolet parent company General Motors have confirmed the American muscle car will take on its traditional rival, the Ford Mustang, in a new era for the sport. The timing of the announcement is by design as it comes on the eve of the final Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 featuring the much loved factory-backed Holden Commodores.
GM’s decision to shutdown Holden’s operations and manufacturing in Australia from this year, means that the current Commodores will reach ` End of Life’ status at the end of the 2021 season, aligning the Gen3 Camaros debut for the following season.
The Triple Eight Holden backed team are spearheading the Camaro ZL1 project, and have been charged with the design of the Gen3 Camaro race car body by Supercars under the full endorsement and delegation of GM.
Standard Supercars licensing rules will apply whereby all Intellectual Property rights for the car remain in house at Supercars, whilst other teams have the ability to run Camaros, either by purchasing complete cars from Triple Eight or by building their own.
Renders of a Gen3 Camaro Supercar dressed in Red Bull, Penrite Racing and Walkinshaw Andretti United colours have been released by Supercars as part of the announcement.
“It’s great news to have GM continuing their presence in Australasia’s leading motorsports category”, said Category boss Sean Seamer. “The Camaro will play a key role in the development of our new generation of race cars, so when it hits the track, it’s sure to excite not only our younger fans, but importantly, all those who remember the nameplate’s rich history in the sport.”
GM president Mark Reuss endorsed his support for the project ;
“We at GM are thrilled to continue an involvement in Supercars in Australia and New Zealand. Chevy Camaro will be an exciting addition to the track, and we have every confidence Triple Eight will ensure the race-going version will be a faithful representation of the road-going Camaro ZL1’s DNA.”
Of course like the Mustang, the Chevrolet Camaro also has heritage in Australia with the early race Australian Touring Car Championship that evolved into the modern Supercars series.
In fact, Bob Jane won the 1971 and ’72 titles in a ZL1 Camaro, while Kevin Bartlett’s famous Channel 9-backed Z28 was also a contender.
The closing comments were left to the Interim Chairman & Managing Director of General Motors Australia & New Zealand, Kristian Aquilina who added;
“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.”