It’s the 16th Commodore to race in the Supercars championship, replacing the VF Commodore from next year, which is the most successful racing Holden in history, with 104 championship race wins to its name.
Designed by Triple Eight Race Engineering in conjunction with GM, the racing version of the next-gen Commodore doesn’t share much with the road-going version, apart from perhaps the lights and grille. Supercars rules dictate cars are built atop a common chassis, with control suspension and transmission parts.
The ZB Commodore will have to undergo aero parity testing before a race-ready homologation is finalised.
When it takes to the track next year, the new Commodore body will race with a 5.0-litre naturally-aspirated V8 under the bonnet, with a twin-turbo 3.6-litre V6 version racing at select wildcard rounds. The turbocharged V6 engine will be put into the factory-backed Red Bull cars for a full season starting in 2019. Power will be sent to the rear wheels per Supercars regulations
Roland Dane, Managing Director of Triple Eight, the team responsible for fielding the factory-backed Red Bull Holden Racing Team VF Commodores in the Supercars championship, says it was a lengthy process to get the ZB body to suit the GenII rules and Car Of The Future chassis.
“The overall look of the car is quite different from anything we’ve had before, so it’s been a big but exciting task, and we’re relishing the opportunity to get on track to see how we’ve done,” he explained.
“The team’s had to work incredibly hard this year in order to compete on track with the current VF Commodore, but also work flat out on the new car. By the time we get to the end of this year, the development process will have taken up about 20,000 hours.
“We are very privileged to have been given the responsibility for developing and producing the new Commodore as a race car. We’re excited to see the results of the work that we’ve been carrying out.”
Behind the wheel for the shakedown was six-time Supercars champion, and the most successful driver in the series’ history, Jamie Whincup.
“The team’s been burning the midnight oil behind the scenes for this moment when we finally get to bring the brand new Commodore to the track and test it for the first time,” Whincup said following the test.
“So far it feels fantastic. The work that they’ve done behind the scenes to this point, in my opinion we’re 99 percent there. There’s just some fine-tuning that’s got to go on in the next few weeks and the next few months until we unleash the full version in 2018.”