There’s a saying: Time waits for no man. This could be applied to forms of motorsport. Australia’s Touring Car Masters is a great example; as time passes the kind of cars that were once not eligible or deemed not suitable are changing. This includes the early examples of Holden’s iconic Commodore.
Information going back to early 2018 indicated that the VB and VC series Commodore, covering 1978 through to 1982, will be made eligible for entry into the Touring Car Masters (TCM) 2020 season. The VH version (1982-1984)will also be made welcome however there may be some extra work required for this. It appears it’s to ensure the MacPherson strut suspension used falls under the current TCM working regulations.
In mid 2019, the first of what is scheduled to be a five car build commenced. Under the racing banner of Kali Motorsport, a Super2 category name run by the recently retired Lucas Dumbrell, another racer, Gerard McLeod, will join in. McLeod is a former Commodore Cup and V8 Utes campaigner.
With the TCM regulations in mind, McLeod indicates the shells will morph into very competitive vehicles as they’ll be built with the latest techniques and, partnered with a common spec 6.0L V8 engine, the smaller and more lightweight VB to VH shells should be quite rapid. Being similar in size to the Toranas currently running it’s expected that the power to weight ratio will have the cars performing at a similar level.
A different body kit to the Group C era Commodores will feature. A smaller rear deck lid and the removal of the huge wheel arch flares the Group C contenders had will take it more to something akin to a VK Group A style but more likely similar to the VC HDT wing.
Said TCM Operations manager, Rowan Harman in mid 2018: ““It’s something new and different. It opens ourselves up to a new market of people, which we are starting to do after 12 years as a category.”
McLeod weighs in with: “I believe, technically it’s the best package that the regulations with the suspension and so on that you’re allowed to do, it’s still a small car, so it is going to be potent when our car is finished.”
McLeod acknowledges the popularity of the TCM, and with the category re-energised in mid 2019 thanks to a new management group being appointed, he expects the 2020 season to be a bright spot for the category.
The build of the first car was expected to have been completed in late 2019 and McLeod expects to be able to test the car on track in January, 2020. It’s expected the car will make its racing debut soon after with TCM at the Supercars round in Adelaide.
TCM itself features names such as Steven “Junior” Johnson, Ryal Harris, and our own Rare Spares ambassador, John Bowe. “JB” finished a close second to Johnson in 2019, on 1066 points behind Johnson’s 1137. Races will be shown on Channel 7 in 2020.
(Pictures courtesy of Auto Action)