V8 Supercars to use an electric safety car in 2024

    Supercars are a staple in the Australian Motorsport landscape and while the sport is filled with big, fast, loud V8 engines, the category will have a very different look in season 2024.

    According to motorsport site Speedcafe, Supercars are testing and expected to use the all-electric Porsche Taycan as the safety car this year. The Porsche Taycan has been used as a safety car in other racing categories around the world, including the electric open-wheel category Formula E.

    Season 2024 kicks off in just 20 days, from the 16th to the 25th of February. Supercars will kick off the 2024 season with the Bathurst SuperFest, a 10-day event featuring the Repco Bathurst 12 Hour and the Thrifty Bathurst 500, as well as a week-long program of community events.

    It’s hard to imagine a world where Supercars as a category achieve zero emissions, trading lots of fossil fuels entertainment. Like many forms of motorsport, the future of racing for combustion engines (like F1) is hanging on the hope that a super fuel arrives that allows them to continue racing without producing the emissions we see today.

    Supercars have a long history (and requirements) of racing cars that relate to the cars we drive on the road. As the transition to electric vehicles continues, we will reach a point where consumer sales of these types of vehicles continue to drop, and eventually won’t make sense for automakers to produce, creating a challenge for the future of the sport.

    Supercars have some serious decisions to make in the years ahead, are they going to drop this connection to production vehicles and become simply an entertainment category? Or is there another future where the Supercars of the future are electric vehicles over the next couple of decades?

    When it comes to performance on the road, electric vehicles are surpassing what’s possible with an internal combustion engine. When we apply that to the race track there’s a real challenge. The components that race teams switch out to go racing (outside suspension and braking) are really not relevant in the EV world.

    Instead of upgrading engine or drivetrain components to increase performance through the hands of mechanics, it may become a race of engineers who can create the optimal performance by tuning the power delivery from the battery to the inverter and ultimately the wheels.

    Supercars spends an awful lot of money trying to achieve parity between different brands, to varying levels of success, so if we really want the majority of the racing challenge to be a human one, perhaps standardising on components and letting the drivers do the talking is the best path forward, while reducing the cost and emissions of going racing.

    This transition would be a monumental one to achieve and a more realistic path may be that this series ultimately ends and a new EV-only category emerges in its place.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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