Andre De Kock
Motorsport Editor
2 minute read
4 Dec 2013
12:00 am

Global V8 Touring Car is here

Andre De Kock

After generating more rumours and conjecture than Hitler's invasion of Poland, the Global V8 Touring Car is finally in South Africa, ready to rumble, looking good – and making sense.

The car, a Ford Focus, was unveiled in front of some 140 media and motorsport people at Zwartkops last week.

Many came to scoff, but left impressed.

Previous “new” racing formulas in this country inevitably involved third-hand stuff from overseas, bought in bulk and rehashed.

Not this time. The GTC car is a brand new design, combining a strong tubular space frame chassis with an advanced, yet cost effective, horsepower V8 engine and a six-speed transaxle sequential gearbox.

The prototype was built in Australia by Paul Ceprnich of Pace Innovations.

However, all subsequent GTC cars will be built in South Africa, using local engineering companies, found during an exhaustive two-year fact-finding mission.

The GTC V8 car has been designed to accommodate nume-rous types of body designs by u-sing the actual car body panels of individual motor manufacturers.

The common frame and running gear are maintained, ensuring costs are kept to a minimum and performance between cars is maximised.

“It is a fairly simple design, huge fun to drive and packed with the latest reliable, but affordable, technology. Teams, drivers and motor manufacturers can decide on the body shell they would like to run,” said test driver Gary Formato.

Formato has driven the car around Zwartkops for more than 65 laps without any problems, setting times in the 62 second region.

ALL NEW: The Global V8 Touring Car in full cry at Zwartkops – could this be the salvation of local motorsport? Picture: Tracksidepics.co.za.

ALL NEW: The Global V8 Touring Car in full cry at Zwartkops – could this be the salvation of local motorsport? Picture: Tracksidepics.co.za.

GTC has received a lot of inte-rest in the car, with at least six different teams involved in local motorsport having already put their names down for two cars each.

When purchasing a car, the buyer also gets one of 26 franchi-ses to race in the GTC series.

Once the 26 franchises are filled, others wishing to join the fold will need to negotiate buying their place in the series.

The GTC Africa series is due to kick off in South Africa during the second half of next year.