Holden unveils next gen Commodore Supercar

Holden has revealed the first official concept image of the next generation Commodore race car, which will be introduced into the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in 2018.

The stunning computer-generated image is the work of talented GM Design Australia Exterior Design Manager Peter Hughes.

“What an incredible-looking race car, it carries on the tradition of Commodores looking awesome on and off the track and ushers in a new era for our brand,” Holden’s Executive Director – Marketing, Mark Harland said.

“I can’t wait to see it out on the track claiming race wins next year.”

The Supercars version of the cutting-edge next-gen Commodore is currently undergoing an intensive and rigorous design and development process being undertaken in partnership between Holden and its official factory racing team, Triple Eight Race Engineering.

The design work to compliment the sleek and sophisticated design of the road-going Commodore includes advanced simulation and aerodynamic evaluation using sophisticated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling.

In releasing the Supercars concept, Holden has also confirmed the next-gen Commodore will be homologated with the current, successful V8 engine for the 2018 season only.

A new, twin-turbocharged V6 engine, suitable for Supercars’ Gen 2 regulations, is currently undergoing development in partnership with the General Motors Performance and Racing Center, in Pontiac, Michigan.

Triple Eight Race Engineering will seek approval from Supercars to run a V6-powered Commodore as a wild card entry at selected rounds next season before a full rollout for the 2019 season.

The V6 engine will then be accessible to all Holden teams via a favourable leasing program.

The staggered introduction ensures a greater ease in transition to the new model Commodore bodywork for all Holden teams.

It also allows Holden and Triple Eight Race Engineering to assist Supercars’ technical department with development of its programs ensuring the turbocharged V6 can achieve parity with the existing, naturally aspirated V8s.

This will maintain the competition’s integrity with the introduction of Supercars’ new Gen 2 regulations.

“Our sport prides itself on Supercars being the closest competition in the world, and the phased introduction of the next-generation Commodore will ensure that is maintained,” Triple Eight Race Engineering team principal, Roland Dane said.

Supercars Australia Chief Executive Officer James Warburton applauded Holden on the stunning new 2018 Commodore and the manufacturer’s V6 engine development program for Gen 2.

“It is a pragmatic and sensible approach by Holden and Triple Eight Race Engineering in introducing the new Commodore and a twin-turbocharged V6 powered engine to the sport,” Warburton said.

“Importantly it is a win for all the current Teams in terms of the simplicity and market relevance for an easy transition to the new Commodore in 2018.

“This phased introduction sets a clear path forward for not only Holden but existing and new manufacturers in the sport.”

Development of the new Commodore Supercar continues, with construction of the first car well underway and ready to undertake Supercars Aero Validation in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Nicky Hayden has died from his injuries

It is with deep sadness that we report the passing of MotoGP riding Legend Nicky Hayden, after the American was involved in a collision with a car when cycling on the Riviera di Rimini last Wednesday. Hayden had been rushed to a local hospital before being transferred to the Bufalini Hospital in Cesena.

He later succumbed to injuries sustained and passed away on Monday evening. He was 35 years old.

We wish to pass on our deepest condolences to Hayden’s family, friends, team and fans at this difficult time.

Statement from Tommy Hayden, on behalf of the Hayden family:

“On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky’s fiancée Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support – it has been a great comfort to us all knowing that Nicky has touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way.

“Although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest – riding a motorcycle. He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that.

“Apart from these ‘public’ memories, we will also have many great and happy memories of Nicky at home in Kentucky, in the heart of the family. We will all miss him terribly.

Logan Wagner wins first-ever All Star win at Lernerville Speedway

For the first time in his young career, Logan Wagner is a main event winner with the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions, this time holding off a former Lernerville Speedway track champion, as well as the defending Arctic Cat All Star champion, for a $5,000 top prize. The Harrisonville, Pennsylvania, native started from the pole position and led all 30 circuits on Friday evening, June 2, at Lernerville Speedway, crossing under the final checkers nearly three seconds ahead of the competition. “Downtown” Danny Holtgraver crossed under the flagstand behind Wagner, followed by Chad Kemenah, Cole Duncan and Tim Shaffer.

“I can’t even put tonight into words,” Logan Wagner explained in Lernerville Speedway victory lane. “I gotta thank everyone that helps me out. My dad, especially, who does so much for me and my career. I didn’t think I was really that good tonight, but I was good enough to win and that is all that matters. This is amazing.”

Wagner took command at the drop of the initial green flag and immediately opened his advantage, stretching his lead to nearly two seconds by lap 10, ultimately pushing that margin to nearly three seconds during other segments of the main event.

A total of four cautions, three during the first 11 circuits, halted feature competition during the 30-lapper, and despite all four creating the potential for a takeover attempt, the clean air and open race track proved to be nothing more than an advantage for Logan Wagner. Even when traffic came into play during the midpoint of the main event, as well as during the last six circuits, Wagner’s preferred line around the thin, top edge of the speedway allowed for the most momentum.

“I just knew I had to run [turn one] the best that I could without getting up over the edge,” Wagner said in victory lane. “I know I went over the backstretch three or four times tonight. I was really tight through turns three and four, so I had to muscle my way around there. But I was able to really capitalize in turns one and two.”

Danny Holtgraver, Ryan Smith, Chad Kemenah and Cole Duncan each made their presence known with heated battles for the remaining positions inside the top-five. Holtgraver, the main event’s seventh starter who was making his first Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions appearance of the season, solidified the runner-up position on lap 21, ending a near-ten lap battle with Hunter Racing's Chad Kemenah.

“It feels good to be back in a sprint car,” Danny Holtgraver explained. “We haven’t raced that much this year, but when we do plan to race, we plan to have fun and work for results like this. Tonight was a lot of fun.”

The Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions will continue their short swing through Western Pennsylvania with a visit to Mercer Raceway Park on Saturday evening, June 3; the first and only appearance of the 2017 season, as well as the first visit in nearly two years.

Heat #1 - Group (A) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
1. 2-Parker Price-Miller [4]; 2. D4-Danny Holtgraver [2]; 3. 33M-Max Stambaugh [1]; 4. 22C-Cole Duncan [3]; 5. 22-Brandon Spithaler [5]; 6. 46-Michael Bauer [6]; 7. 51-John Garvin [7]; 8. 5-Justin Barger [9]; 9. 49H-Bradley Howard [10]; 10. 55W-Michael Wagner [8]; 11. 91S-Sadie Siegal [11]

Heat #2 - Group (B) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
1. 2F-AJ Flick [2]; 2. 59-Ryan Smith [4]; 3. 16-Danny Mumaw [1]; 4. 98-Carl Bowser [3]; 5. 91-Anthony Fiore [6]; 6. 23-Darren Pifer [7]; 7. C1-Clay Riney [10]; 8. 1080-Jordan Mackison [5]; 9. 29-Scott Barris [9]; 10. 9C-Roger Campbell [8]

Heat #3 - Group (C) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
1. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [2]; 2. 7W-Logan Wagner [1]; 3. 81-Lee Jacobs [4]; 4. 40-George Hobaugh [10]; 5. 13-Brandon Matus [5]; 6. 35-Tyler Esh [3]; 7. 76-David Jones [9]; 8. 4K-William Kiley [8]; 9. 95-Hunter Mackison [6]

Heat #4 - Group (D) (8 Laps) - Top 5 Transfer
1. 8-Dean Jacobs [1]; 2. 17-Caleb Helms [2]; 3. 49X-Tim Shaffer [3]; 4. 10H-Chad Kemenah [4]; 5. 8M-TJ Michael [5]; 6. 7K-Dan Shetler [6]; 7. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. [10]; 8. O8-Dan Kuriger [7]; 9. 33-Brent Matus [8]; 10. 9-Ryan Linder [9]

Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 7W-Logan Wagner [2]; 2. 2-Parker Price-Miller [1]; 3. 10H-Chad Kemenah [3]; 4. D4-Danny Holtgraver [4]; 5. 17-Caleb Helms [5]

Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 59-Ryan Smith [1]; 2. 22C-Cole Duncan [3]; 3. 8-Dean Jacobs [4]; 4. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [5]; 5. 2F-AJ Flick [2]

C-Main (10 Laps) - Top 2 Transfer
1. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. [9]; 2. 9-Ryan Linder [5]; 3. 76-David Jones [6]; 4. C1-Clay Riney [8]; 5. 4X-Rod George [2]; 6. 29-Scott Barris [7]; 7. 4K-William Kiley [4]; 8. 91S-Sadie Siegal [3]; 9. 9C-Roger Campbell [1]

B-Main (12 Laps) - Top 4 Transfer
1. 7K-Dan Shetler [5]; 2. O8-Dan Kuriger [7]; 3. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. [13]; 4. 35-Tyler Esh [1]; 5. 46-Michael Bauer [2]; 6. 1080-Jordan Mackison [8]; 7. 55W-Michael Wagner [4]; 8. 33-Brent Matus [12]; 9. 5-Justin Barger [6]; 10. 9-Ryan Linder [14]; 11. 49H-Bradley Howard [9]; 12. 51-John Garvin [3]; 13. 23-Darren Pifer [11]; 14. 95-Hunter Mackison [10]

A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 7W-Logan Wagner [1]; 2. D4-Danny Holtgraver [7]; 3. 10H-Chad Kemenah [5]; 4. 22C-Cole Duncan [4]; 5. 49X-Tim Shaffer [12]; 6. 59-Ryan Smith [6]; 7. 2F-AJ Flick [10]; 8. 81-Lee Jacobs [11]; 9. 98-Carl Bowser [15]; 10. 7C-Caleb Armstrong [8]; 11. 2-Parker Price-Miller [3]; 12. 8-Dean Jacobs [2]; 13. O8-Dan Kuriger [22]; 14. 17-Caleb Helms [9]; 15. 33M-Max Stambaugh [13]; 16. 13-Brandon Matus [19]; 17. 8M-TJ Michael [18]; 18. 7K-Dan Shetler [21]; 19. 16-Danny Mumaw [14]; 20. 33-Brent Matus [25]; 21. 51-John Garvin [27]; 22. 35-Tyler Esh [24]; 23. 40-George Hobaugh [16]; 24. 91-Anthony Fiore [20]; 25. 22-Brandon Spithaler [17]; 26. 46-Michael Bauer [26]; 27. 23JR-Jack Sodeman Jr. [23] Lap Leaders: Logan Wagner [1-30]

Current Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions Standings (June 2, 2017):
1. Chad Kemenah: 1714
2. Caleb Armstrong: 1606
3. Caleb Helms: 1592
4. Ryan Smith: 1550
5. Max Stambaugh: 1398
6. Tim Shaffer: 1394
7. T.J. Michael: 1334
8. Brandon Matus: 1254
9. Brent Matus: 1214
10. Brandon Spithaler: 1203

Unsafe Release or Sloppy Officials

At todays Supercar race from sunny Winton a few inconsistencies were noted.

The biggest was the unsafe pit release whilst the safety car and field were on the main straight.

So did the driver either disobeyed a red light at pit exit or was green lighted.  You can clearly see an official to the far right giving the driver a blue flag.

Cast you mind back to the Saturday race at Philip Island where Fabian Coulthard was penilised for leaving pit lane under red as the safety car was on the main straight.

The question I have for CAMS and Supercar officials is,  Why was the driver released and or will there be a post race penalty applied if a breach of the rules was determined.

The Speedway Show Set For Blast Off

The first of a 4 program series on speedway racing is set to be aired on Aurora TV (FOXTEL Channel 173) starting on the 31st of May at 9pm. 

This first program features Shane Stewart and Brett Milburn in their quest to win the 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic.

Also featured in this program are some big wrecks from the SRA Series at Heartland Raceway and the Sprintcar A main held at Premier Speedway. 

Future episodes of The Speedway Show will feature speedcar and sprintcar action from Avalon Raceway, sprintcar and sedan car racing from Redline Raceway and other driver and sponsor interviews. 

The purpose of the program is to maximize exposure for sponsors, race teams and personalities in the sport of Speedway.

The first TV program provides significant exposure for supporters of Brett Milburn's Sprintcar team and also other supporters of speedway racing during the past season.

SEARLE AND MORRIS WIN SIX-HOUR THRILLER

LUKE SEARLE and PAUL MORRIS won a remarkable Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour at Mount Panorama, passing defending winner Chaz Mostert’s Ford Focus RS in the closing five minutes to take a thrilling victory.  

The Roadchill Express BMW chased down and passed Mostert and Nathan Morcom’s Ford Focus RS after a pulsating battle throughout the closing half-hour, Mostert clinging on to the lead after withering Searle’s attack before ultimately succumbing in the closing five minutes when Searle passed at the inside of the Chase.  The Focus RS lost 5th and 6th gear which slowed the car on the straights.   

Both cars broke the lap record within the race’s final four laps as they battled for the lead, lapping faster than they both qualified – Mostert breaking the lap record on the 110th of 112 laps.

The result delivered Searle and his long-running family racing team their biggest ever racing result, and etched Morris’ name into the Bathurst history books as the first driver ever to win three Mount Panorama ‘majors’.

His Six-hour win joins his previous successes in the Bathurst 12 Hour and Bathurst 1000 races.

“I don’t know where that little Ford found its legs at the end there. Chaz was driving the wheels off it; we were driving the wheels off it. Someone said we were in the 25s. Wow… I have no words,” Searle said.

“I had to get him. I was putting it all on the line, so I had to get him. I wanted Paul to get the triple, it was always in my mind; get him the triple. I was up the inside of him and I started looking around for yellow flags because it was too easy, so I started looking around for yellow flags. He lost sixth gear or something, so that’s a shame.

“Paul was phenomenal in the middle stint, he didn’t put a foot wrong. I can’t say anymore.

“To win at Bathurst is the pinnacle in anyone’s career, be it this race or another Bathurst race. Bathurst is just phenomenal. When you’ve done a lap like we were doing at the end there, you know what it’s all about.”

Morris said he was thrilled to add the Bathurst 6 hour crown to his remarkable CV – especially the chance to do it with a family friend.

“As we flew down in the chopper me and Bairdo were talking about it going ‘yeah, it could happen’, so it was in the back of my mind. It was a pretty cool feeling to be able to do that,” Morris said.

“To do it with Luke is really cool. I’ve been friends with their family a long time and I rate him as probably one of the best drivers Australia’s had – but he’s just slipped through the net. You could put in a GT Car or any car and he just goes. He was the right man to have at the end of the race, that’s for sure.”

Defending winners Mostert and Morcom finished second, fighting their way into contention after starting only 16th.

Mostert’s drive at the end was particularly breathtaking as he hauled the Focus on lap record pace – despite dropping fifth and sixth gear at the very end.

“It was probably one of the most hectic races I’ve had around here,” he said.

“Back in ’14 chasing Whincup, obviously this time being on the opposite end of the stick. Those boys definitely deserve it 100%, they pushed us hard all day. At the end of the day we were second best today. But a great effort from the team to win last year, to release a brand new car this year and the lead-up, the practices, the qualifying, all those kind of things where we just had little errors and then to put it all together in the race is just awesome. I’m pretty sure the boys are going to enjoy a beer tonight, and maybe a sleep.”

A controversial finish for the final spot on the podium saw Jim Pollicina and Ryan Simpson finish third – after the Duvashen Padayachee / Ben Porter / Rob Woods Mercedes was penalised for an earlier pit stop infringement.

The winners completed 113 laps, while the race featured 11 safety car interruptions following another bruising day on the Mountain.

The pulsating race saw 18 lead changes across its duration and the early Safety Car interruptions saw nearly 20 cars remain on the lead lap for most of the race’s first half.

The big contenders again fell early, with the pole-sitting BMW M4 of Grant and Iain Sherrin dominating the race’s first 13 laps before a technical issue dropped them three laps from the lead while effecting the repair.  

They then launched a major comeback drive, remarkably getting themselves onto the lead lap before a puncture again dropped them out of contention in the fifth hour.

An unknown technical issue ruled out the David Wall / John Bowe Mitsubishi Lancer in the second hour, while an enormous engine failure and fire ended an otherwise strong day for the Garth Walden / Craig Baird Mercedes AMG A45 in the final 30 minutes.

The car was running fourth in the closing stages before the enormous failure saw the car stop on the finish line, bringing out the race’s final Safety Car and setting up the grandstand finish.

The CXC Global Racing EVO of Dylan Thomas and Tim Slade were another high-profile non-finisher, out with engine failure after just 20.

Following the penalty to the No. 29 Mercedes, Beric Lynton and Tim Leahey finished fourth while Karl Reindler and Andrew Richmond completed a remarkable comeback from a qualifying disqualification to finish fifth.

Reindler started the race from 59th position after having his qualifying time removed due to a ride-height infringement, but stormed through to have his car second by his first pit stop.

Scott Bargwanna / Paul Lane / Trevor Symonds HSV Commodore won Class A2, and finished 12th outright.

Jack Perkins and Leigh Burges won B1, their BMW 335i finishing a strong 8th outright.

Brian Walden / Michael Auld and Richard Bloomfield defended their Class B2 victory, bringing their SS Commodore home in 27th outright.

Todd Hazelwood and Rob Rubis won a pulsating battle for Class C, their BMW winning the class by just 1.6s over the Cox / Gosling BMW.

Chris Reeves and Chris Sutton also went back-to-back in Bathurst wins, taking Class D by 5.7 seconds over Jimmy Vernon and Mark Caine’s similar Toyota.

John McCleverty, Brad Zacka and Michael Zacka won the Invitational class, finishing 21st outright.

64 cars started today’s race – a record field for an endurance race at Mount Panorama, eclipsing the previous record of 63 set at the 1969, 1978 and 1984 Bathurst 1000 races.

The event announced a three-day attendance of 17,487 – up 8.2 per cent on 2016.

HI-TEC OILS BATHURST 6 HOUR – TOP 10

1.       Searle / Morris (BMW M135i) 113 Laps
2.       Morcom / Mostert (Ford Focus RS) + 9.6s
3.       Pollicina / Simpson (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X RS) + 23.97
4.       Lynton / Leahey (BMW 1M) + 41.485
5.       Richmond / Reindler (Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X RS) + 43.759
6.       Woods / Padayachee / Porter (Mercedes AMG A45) + 55.419
7.       Alford / Eddy (Audi TT RS) + 1 Lap
8.       Burges / Perkins (BMW 331i) + 1 Lap
9.       Abela / Hill (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) + 1 Lap
10.   Kavich / Kavich / Pilkington (Subaru Impreza WRX STi) + 1 lap

A1. Searle / Morris (BMW M135i)
A2. Bargwanna / Lane / Symonds (HSV GTS)
B1. Perkins / Burges (BMW 335i)
B2. Walden / Auld / Bloomfield (Holden SSV Redline)