20 June 2009
Cost-cutting heads vision of V8 future for Cochrane.
V8 Supercars Australia chairman Tony Cochrane has outlined changes to both the organisation and the category as a whole that he would like to see implemented to safeguard and improve the sport's future.
As well as welcoming veteran driver - and multiple champion - Mark Skaife as an independent director, Cochrane's statement covered areas including a vision of the car of the future and next year's calendar. It was the increasingly common area of cost-cutting that headlined the missive, however, with the chairman listing 14 points for consideration by the board.
"At the recent team owners forum on the Gold Coast, a range of cost reduction initiatives was agreed by all team owners present," Cochrane wrote, "These are now notified items under the REC and the technical department is preparing the business case for each item. As each item is approved by the board, it will then be added to the rule book as a matter of urgency, because I am determined, and I have a mandate to deliver on, real cost reductions to every team in this championship. We have been criticised in the past for how slowly we have moved on these issues, [and] I intend to change that perception."
The 'Cost Reduction Action List' includes the following measures:
* Remove 'go fast' (non-engine) data and telemetry;
* Control valve train –Increase target life of engine to 8000km;
* Control wheel;
* Control dampers;
* Cap the number of brake discs and pads per season or event;
* Control engine airbox;
* Control radiator duct and cooling system. A common radiator core would be ideal but if this isn't feasible teams should have to homologate a cooling package for the season;
* Control rear axle housing;
* Control suspension, with each team's complete front hub assembly should be homologated for a two-year period. Suspension (including wishbones, track rods, push rods etc) should be homologated each year for a complete season;
* Increase the number of composite parts ie current front and rear quarters/fibreglass bonnets;
* Final drive ratio, to reduce number of options to 3.15 and 3.5 only;
* Define centre of gravity of cars (possibly for 'next generation' car);
* Investigate group purchasing and manufacturing (consumables and parts);
* Control fuel system
Cochrane confirmed that, following the resignation of Campbell Little, he would use his new executive chairman role 'to undertake a total review of the [technical and racing] departments, with a view to restructuring both areas'.
"I will be undertaking this work with the full support of the board and without interference from anyone," he continued, "I expect to have the new structure and people in place in time for the Sandown event. Clearly, our current structure has some faults and I intend to rectify that situation so we move forward in a positive environment."
Confirming Skaife's arrival as a voting board member, Cochrane revealed that the V8 legend would still be able to race should he desire, something that may happen following his recent testing activities with Sprint Gas Racing.
"As per our press announcement of earlier this past week, I am delighted to announce the unfilled position of independent director on the board of V8 Supercars Australia has been filled by Mark Skaife," he confirmed, "Mark joins Roger Cook as the other independent director, taking the board of V8SA to eight voting members.
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