V8 Supercars Australia To Discuss Manufacturer Cap After Volvo Signs On
V8 Supercars Australia "will discuss capping the number of manufacturers in the championship following Volvo's decision to join the competition next year," according to the AAP. The Swedish manufacturer announced on Monday "it will form a team called Volvo Polestar Racing" with existing outfit Garry Rogers Motorsport in a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal. The team will race two of the manufacturer's S60 model sedans, "raising the number of makes on the V8s grid to five from next year with Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, Holden and Ford already racing in the category." V8 Supercars Chair Mark Skaife said, "Five manufacturers by 2014 will have met the short-term objectives of Car of the Future. For them (Volvo) to come back into our game is a real endorsement of what we're doing." Skaife "will hold discussions" with incoming CEO James Warburton about "whether to keep pursuing manufacturers or whether to set a cap on the number of makes competing in the championship." GRM Owner Garry Rogers was the "big winner out of Monday's decision." Rogers has been operating a V8 team since '96 "with limited backing from Holden." Rogers said about securing Volvo's support, "From a team perspective, it's vital" (AAP, 6/17).
DOWN THE ROAD: In Brisbane, Andrew Maclean reported V8 Supercars "may be forced to ditch its V8 roots by the end of the decade as car makers continue to move away from large-capacity engines." Skaife said that the sport "is currently evaluating its long-term future to remain as relevant to the car-buying public as possible and build on its ability to attract new manufacturers to the sport." He "did not discount the probability" the sport would eventually have to undergo one of the most significant shake-ups since it ditched the global Group A rules in '93 to form V8 Supercars. Skaife said, "We cannot lose the customer appeal that our sport has generated and at no point can we move away from the spectacle we have" (BRISBANE TIMES, 6/17).