V8 Supercar Looks to Nascar for Direction
If you ask anyone directly involved in the V8 supercar circuit, they’ll tell you that they don’t need guidance from the likes of Nascar or any other racing organization from around the world. V8 is a sport in its own right, and they may do things a little different, but they like it this way.
In fact, if you talk to V8 drivers behind closed doors, you’ll find that most of them recoil from the idea of their sport turning into Nascar 2. Nascar is so highly regulated and standardized that there’s almost no variety to the sport, and driver skill is hardly a factor. V8 supercar drivers are proud of the amount of hands-on control they have over the whole process, from vehicle development to crossing the finish line.
Even so, there have been growing complaints around V8 racing about some of the recent developments in the sport. Some feel that auto technology has gotten out of hand, and that the latest wave of tweaks have taken V8 cars away from their origins as road-legal, production model-based cars that rely primarily on driver skill.
In fact, whether we like it or not, V8 racing has come to resemble international motor racing sports that emphasize brainy car development and turn drivers into little more than pawns in the hands of team managers. This has been happening in V8 for several years, which is why some have been calling for increased regulations.
According to officials high up in the sport, these changes could come sooner rather than later. And for better or worse, they are taking Nascar as a model.
It’s not that they’re going to emulate Nascar as a whole, but there’s no denying that there are some things that Nascar does right. For example, Nascar’s emphasis on standardized parts, centralized purchasing, and basic design specs takes the emphasis away from technological achievement and puts it right back on the drivers and pit crews, which most of us agree is a good thing for the sport.
Plus, as many have noticed, pit times during V8 races have inflated in recent years. Having things a little more standardized can cut back on this trend, which may serve to make races more compelling.
In the end, whether or not you approve of these changes, there is something wrong with a sport in which those with the most money seem to win time and time again, while the less wealthy teams fight at the back of the pack.