The minimum weight of a V8 Supercar has risen from 1400 to 1410kg.
While it sounds insignificant, the 10kg increase has been debated hard within the category.
It has been signed off by the V8 Supercars Commission as a cost saving measure.
That’s because some teams had been struggling to meet the 1400kg minimum weight level and faced significant expenditure to reach it.
Others had managed to build their new Car of the Future racers to undercut the weight limit, therefore delivering them a ballasting and potential performance advantage.
The revised rule continues to specify 750kg of weight on the front axle and a minimum combined driver (in full apparel) and seat weight of 100kg.
“In terms of what it would have cost the teams who were over-weight to come back to the minimum weight – and they could have – it would have been thousands and thousands of dollars,” explained V8 Supercars General Manager – Motorsport Damien White to v8supercars.com.au.
“When you look at the cost of some cars putting in 10kg of weight versus the cost of some cars pulling out 10kg of weight I think that was one of the major contributing factors,” White said
White revealed there had been some debate whether the driver/seat minimum weight should absorb half the 10kg increase and rise to 105kg, but that was rejected.
The heaviest driver in the Championship according to the official weights is Shane van Gisbergen at 99.5kg while the lightest is Dean Fiore is 75kg. The mandated seat weight is 13.8kg.
“Basically this rule does help the teams with the heavier driver, but while that came into it the debate at the end of the day there, was a bunch of cars that were over the weight limit built to the specification that was given to them. The fact of the driver weight being altered should be for a separate debate,” explained White.
It is indicative of where their respective situations stood, that leading Holden team owner Brad Jones opposed the increase, while Ford Performance Racing team principal Tim Edwards campaigned for it. The two are V8 Supercars Commission members.
Jones said: “From a team owner perspective I am not that keen for the weight to increase. I can see there are a number of people in the category who are struggling to get to it, so 1410 is a compromise. I would be happier if it included 5kg in the driver-seat combination because it is unfair for those who have got heavier drivers.”
Edwards said: “It is the right thing for the category because two of the marques are just inherently cars because they don’t have aluminium panels etcetera… it’s just about a bit of parity in the category really. The weight increase is all about saving money; it is ridiculous we would spend money on something like that in this current climate.”
Edwards said the proposal to bump the driver-seat weight to 105kg was a “performance issue” and “separate debate”.