Nissan makes it a welcome three manufacturers in the V8 Supercars next year alongside Ford and Holden and the organisers are confident of the possibility for a fourth manufacturer.
“I’m personally aware of some other very, very big conversations that are going on at the moment … with at least two manufacturers,” said Tony Cochrane, V8 Supercars Chairman to the Australian Associated Press.
Two manufacturers that have been reported to be interested in the championship are Mercedes and Chrysler, not the case any more however.
“Mercedes-Benz has thoroughly investigated this possibility and after serious consideration the company has resolved that we will not be proceeding with this as it is not a ‘fit’ with the Australian and New Zealand brand positioning,” said David McCarthy of Mercedes-Benz Australia to The Canberra Times.
While Mercedes is out of the picture, Car of the Future boss Mark Skaife is still confident that there will be four manufacturers on the grid.
“Mercedes is not the only manufacturer we’re talking to. At the start of 2013 there’ll be at least four manufacturers there. Nothing’s happened to change my view on that,” said Skaife.
But time is running out for a potential new manufacturer to have new cars on the grid for the season start in 2013.
“We have to allow time for a new manufacturer or team to build their Car of the Future, and offer it to V8SA for the exhausting and scientific parity testing of aerodynamics and engine,” said Skaife, stating that the end of August is a breaking point for a new manufacturer to get ready in time for 2013.
While Skaife is confident of a fourth brand, Cochrane tones down probability of having four manufacturers on the grid at the season start in 2013.
“To be honest with you, if we just end up with the three we’ve got, we’re very happy. It’s not our place to announce when a manufacturer is joining the championship. It’s the manufacturer’s role in association with the team and we’re happy to go along and support that and we will do that if we’re asked to. Whether that goal can be achieved by the opening round or by mid-season remains to be seen, but it will be sometime in 2013,” said Cochrane.
The identity on one of the new manufacturers interested in the championship has been indicated towards Mazda. Two of the teams in search of a new manufacturer are Stone Brothers Racing and Dick Johnson Racing after losing funding from Ford next year, according to V8X Magazine.