Holden Supercars V6 engine completes first track test

The twin-turbo V6 engine that will eventually power the new-generation Holden Commodore Supercar has hit the track for the first time.

Holden Supercars V6 engine completes first track test
Triple Eight Sandman test car fitted with a V6 engine
Triple Eight Sandman test car fitted with a V6 engine

Triple Eight ran the V6 engine in its ‘Sandman’ wagon at Norwell in Queensland earlier this week, with Jamie Whincup, Craig Lowndes, and Steve Richards on driving duties across more than 250 kilometres of running.

It’s the first time the 3.6-litre engine, based on the powerplant used in the GT3-spec Cadillacs, has been run in Supercars form, and follows extensive development work in the US.

According to Triple Eight boss Roland Dane, the team is “very pleased with the initial running”.

“A huge amount of work has been done already, both at GM Racing in Pontiac, Michigan and also here in Queensland,” said Dane.

“There’s still plenty more to do, but we’re now going to crack on with the development behind closed doors.”

The Sandman, based on a 2013 Supercars chassis, was modified to be fitted with the V6 engine, with changes to the bonnet and front bar to accomodate the intakes and intercooler ducts.

While it’s not a Supercar in the purest sense, Dane added that it’s an ideal test mule for the new engine.

“There aren’t any advantages or disadvantages to running the engine in the Sandman for what we’re doing at the moment,” he said.

“It’s about getting kilometres on the engine and understanding what it needs at this point to prepare it for racing in Supercars.

“It’s not far away from being competitive, but Supercars is a very competitive category, so we can’t leave anything on the table.”

The test comes after Triple Eight and Holden confirmed that the new Commodore will begin its life next season using the existing V8 powerplant.

There are plans to use the V6 engine as a ‘wildcard’ entry in 2018, before a full roll-out of the category’s first non-V8 engine since 1993 for the 2019 season.

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