Chrysler reveals V8 Supercars interest
The global motorsport boss of Chrysler has confirmed the company’s interest in entering the V8 Supercars championship with the new generation 300C sedan.
“I am extremely interested (in V8 Supercars). It’s not the first time I have heard of it but I don’t want to let on that we are committing just yet,” he said last week at the Detroit auto show.
“It’s very unique to that market so it may work beautifully in the Australian market, so I am willing to help out if they are wanting to find a way.”
Chrysler becomes the first brand to break ranks and declare an interest in the taking on Holden and Ford in the championship, which enters a new technical phase with the arrival of Car of the Future in 2013.
V8 Supercars’ international expansion also takes off in 2013, including a race scheduled for Austin, Texas.
Gilles support is important because the budget required to contest the championship would have to come from the coffers of Chrysler’s global marketing budget. Chrysler Group Australia would also have to contribute part of the multi-million dollar budget.
Clyde Campbell, the managing director of CGA, confirmed the company’s interest at a local level. He also said there had been approaches from V8 Supercars teams and discussions with V8 Supercars itself.
“We are in constant communication with SRT, which is a brand we are trying to build,” Campbell said. “Ralph is relatively new to heading up the SRT brand and he is certainly a motorsport fan.
“SRT stands for Street and Race Technology and the race part of that needs to be borne out and it needs to be borne out in a category that fits the brands that we are trying to retail.
“The Car of the Future concept looks like it would suit in that regard. Certainly we haven’t closed the door, it’s something we are looking at. But at this stage it’s so preliminary we can’t say whether we are in or out.”
Chrysler does have linkage with V8 Supercars via the pace car program it supported for four years with the original 300C SRT8. The new 300C goes on-sale in Australia in June.
By Bruce Newton, V8X Magazine and Fairfax contributor.
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