CHEVROLET Racing’s reveal of a Camaro drag car alongside its Gen3 Supercar at Bathurst shows the brand isn’t a ‘one-trick pony’ in Australia, says its manager Chris Payne.
GM ANZ is out in force at Bathurst as the company continues efforts to pivot attention away from Holden and towards the Chevrolet brand.
The Chevrolet Camaro will take over from the Holden Commodore in Supercar racing next year, battling the Ford Mustang.
While GM’s relatively small Australian operations means its financial input isn’t on the scale of Ford, the company is keen to be at the forefront of local motorsport.
The drag car program is a continuation of a partnership with racer Maurice Fabietti that has stretched over 15 years, racing in the colours of GM’s parts company AC Delco.
“I would describe it as not being a one-trick pony,” Payne told V8 Sleuth of revealing the latest Camaro drag car body in the Chevrolet colours at Bathurst.
“Supercars is incredibly important and there’s a certain following for Supercars, but drag racing is a whole different competitive sport.
“The people who follow drag racing are really passionate about the sport, the engineering in the cars, the straightline speed, the incredible zero to 400 metre times.
“For us, being the big brother to the Supercar, now having the drag car as our second competitive entry is a massive statement as we go into 2023.”
There’s also talk the brand is planning an attack on the Australian off-road scene, primarily the famed Finke Desert Race, with its Silverado truck.
“It’s possible,” says Payne of such a project. “We’ll take it one step at a time but obviously we’ve got the opportunity to do something there with the Silverado.
“We’ll take it one step at a time. Today is about Bathurst, it’s about the drag car, and we’ll come to those other opportunities down the track.”
Ford recently declared intentions to broaden its Australian racing operations, announcing a three-man motorsport division to support its Supercars teams and possible future GT3 and GT4 programs.
The Chevrolet Camaro Gen3 prototype will undertake track sessions throughout the weekend, with Greg Murphy, Steven Richards, Luke Youlden and Jack Perkins all set to turn laps.
Ford’s new Mustang is also on track, having been given its track debut by Dick Johnson on Thursday.
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