Game, set and match
From the editor.....
Two key announcements during the last ten days appear to give the V8 SuperTourers (V8ST) the win in the battle for V8 superiority in New Zealand. They have surely put the game beyond the reach of the NZV8s who seem to be struggling to put together a field for the new season. However along with this position comes the responsibility to fans and V8ST need to demonstrate better that they have the paying spectator in mind in their decision making and communication.
At the CRC Speedshow in Auckland Tim Edgell’s Edgell Performance Racing Team confirmed their order for the 20th V8 SuperTourer. More importantly was the confirmation that their key sponsors that include BNT Automotive would continue their support. While supporting Edgell last season in the NZV8s, BNT was also the key sponsor of the BNT V8s (NZV8s) and we are yet to see if they will be continuing this support.
The second announcement came from the UDC V8 Ute Series that they would become part of the support program for the V8ST at the start of the 2013 season at Hampton Downs in February. Hence they have departed from supporting the NZV8s. (We are yet to find out whether this category will continue to be a NZ Motorsport Championship.)
While the Toyota Racing Series has their own internationally focussed five weekend program over January and February with some rounds supporting the NZV8 program it will be interesting to see where the Suzuki Swift Sport Cup Championship gives their support.
While the NZV8s are developing a new generation V8, there has not been any new announcements on teams buying into this category. A prototype has been built, tested and developed by Hayden McKenzie Motorsport. Tulloch Motorsport will have their Holden ready in time to race in the South Island Endurance Series as a means for testing for the new season. Richards Motorsport Team are developing a Toyota V8 powered Camry but this may not be ready in time for the first NZV8 round at Powerbuilt Tools Raceway in Christchurch the second weekend of December.
Nick Ross’s Concept Motorsport Team announced in May the purchase of a new generation NZV8 chassis but this appears to be on hold as there has been little information on this project. There is the potential for four new cars to take the grid in December alongside a yet to be announced grid of older NZV8s.
Given their dominant position, V8ST now have a greater responsibility to look after Kiwi fans. What the NZV8s have done superbly well over the winter is to communicate to their fan base through social media. There is regular communication through Facebook and Twitter and it gives the fans a sense that they are valued, important and kept in the loop of developments and news.
V8ST have tended to communicate announcements. For example - V8 SuperTourers partners with UDC Utes; Edgell Performance Racing takes twentieth V8 SuperTourer; V8 SuperTourers revving up for Speedshow; Booth confirms D’Alberto for V8SuperTourer endurance events.
V8ST fans need to know, for example, what the drivers have been up to since the last sprint round; what the calendar for 2013 will be. Will V8ST be racing at traditional circuits such as Teretonga and Timaru?
V8ST have successfully put together a series of top drivers and completed their first sprint series and arguably have become the premier V8 category in NZ. V8 fans now must be considered more and communicated to better as with position comes responsibility.