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by Tim Beissmann

Holden Special Vehicles has shipped two specially developed HSV ClubSport R8 racecar prototypes to India to assess the potential for a new one-make motorsport series in the subcontinent.

Under development since May, the ClubSport R8 racing prototypes were prepared by senior HSV engineers with links to the manufacturer’s sister company, Walkinshaw Racing, and have already undergone extensive testing at Winton Motor Raceway with three-time Bathurst winner Garth Tander behind the wheel.

HSV managing director Phil Harding says there is an untapped market for the design, development and engineering of race-spec cars for India.

“There is an affluent business community in India which is passionate about high performance cars and the potential to race them,” Harding said.

Harding confirmed HSV was also investigating the potential for similar one-make race series in two other Asian markets.

“The beauty of the vehicle we have developed is that the initial set-up costs, as well as operating costs, are significantly below other vehicles of similar performance, so if you are running a one-make race series, the economics look pretty good.”

The HSV ClubSport R8 prototypes feature V8 Supercar-style front and rear bodywork and cockpit, a reinforced boot lid with rear racing wing, an FIA-approved six-point roll cage, bucket seats with six-point harness system, and 18-inch race wheels with full racing slicks. The prototypes generate 400kW of power from their race-tuned 6.2-litre LS3 V8 engines.

Tander said the prototypes exceeded his expectations during testing.

“We achieved a fastest lap time of 1 minute 32.0 seconds for the 3km circuit even without pushing them to their limits,” he said. HSV predicts the car will be capable of sub-90-second lap times following more chassis balance development.

HSV chief engineer Joel Stoddart revealed the company is also exploring the potential of integrating a Formula One-style Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) into the vehicles to enhance the efficiency of the racecars.




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