Confirmed: Kiwi V8 series reveals new-look Trans-Am replacement formula
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The BNT V8s Championship has announced it will adopt the 'TA2' Trans-Am platform as its primary platform for the forthcoming season, with the category renaming itself the BNT NZV8TA2 Championship.
Various TA2 championships have blossomed in Asia, Australia, and more, with the platform itself having been founded in the United States. It's known for being one of the most cost-effective tin-top race cars of its kind globally, and it's hoped that it will supply Kiwi motorsport with a shot in the arm.
The impacts are already apparent, with a claimed 20 competitors registering their interest in purchasing a TA2 prior to launch. The positive signs come off the back of a lengthy period of struggle for the country's premier tin-top series, following the political fall-out between the NZV8 and NZ SuperTourer series' and subsequent seasons of low grid counts.
Four TA2 examples are already in the country, with more to come. They share a common chassis powered by a 391kW 6.2-litre V8 engine based on an LS. Among the car's most unique characteristics is the four-speed manual, and the cross-ply Hoosier tyres. Each car is then bodied as a Chevrolet Camaro, Ford Mustang, or Dodge Challenger.
Among the formula's biggest fans is former NZV8 and V8 Ute series champion Paul Manuell. Having raced (and won) in Asian TA2 competition, Manuell felt it would be a perfect fit for New Zealand. The former champ doubles as the local distributor for the new cars, via his company Eastern Automotive and Performance.
“After testing & racing TA2 in Asia I knew this was the fix for New Zealand motorsport, this is absolutely where we need to head,” said Manuell. “I’ve had just over 20 competitors reach out to me to register their interest in buying one, even before we’ve launched it, or they’ve even seen one in the flesh. Which is encouraging. Once these community restrictions lift, I expect many of those to remain interested.
“Driving these cars is phenomenal. The tyre, grip, power is how I would equal a single-seater experience. 1250kg, 391kW, sticky tyres, light, fantastic brakes, and ease of control is motor racing at its best,” Manuell added.
“I am so passionate about these cars, the formula is spot on, the parity is the most perfect scenario for motorsport in this current era, and tuneability is also exactly where we need to be. This is a formula where you can run from your shed, carry out basic engineering changes that work without massive staffing and engineering budgets.”