How fast does an Aussie Racing Car go?

Although they are small in size they are big on performance with a top speed that has been clocked at over 230kph down  Mount Panorama’s  Conrod Straight at Bathurst, and lap times at Wakefield Park: 1.min.05 sec and Eastern Creek: 1 min 41.

What are they like to drive?

Although they are small versions of touring cars they respond and feel more like an open wheeler formula racing car. The centre of gravity is very low with all but the drivers shoulders and head being above the top of the wheels which is much like an open wheeler. The grip level is much higher than a V8 Supercar for example. Most drivers take some time to come to terms with the incredible braking efficiency as the cars stop so well. Due to the very stiff open wheeler style suspension set up which results in amazingly high cornering speeds the cars appear nervous to the onlooker but every driver without exception discounts this once they have had a stint behind the wheel. As drivers become more comfortable and accustomed to the speed of the cars they all remark how predictable they actually feel particularly when pushed to the limit. To achieve maximum tyre grip the cars rely on maximum weight transfer so the harder they are driven the more grip they actually get. You may have seen Aussie Racing Car action on TV where cars are being pounded over ripple strips at full noise with sometimes 3 wheels off the ground. At this point most other touring cars are headed for a crash!.. but not Aussie Racing Cars, they land and  power off with full grip to the next corner, that’s what seat of the pants thrills are all about.

What is the Masters Cup?

A unique part of the Aussie Racing Car category is the establishment of a unique division within the series which caters for those who still have a strong competitive urge but see enjoyment in the sport as their major objective.This section of the series has a separate pointscore and caters for a strong group of dedicated racers just taking advantage of the thrilling racing action which they approach with a more laid back and casual attitude than do the young heros. The criteria for inclusion into the Masters Cup is that the driver must be over 35 years of age and or be driving a Classic Ford or Classic Holden bodied car. Each Masters Cup car has a special identification logo above the competition number and a winners trophy is awarded at each round. Masters Cup drivers are also included in the outright pointscore

What is the series called?

The series is known as the Aussie Racing Cars Super Series which is  sanctioned nationally by the Confederation of Australian Motorsport(CAMS) The winner of the series is crowned by the organisers as the Aussie Racing Car Champion and they are permitted to carry the #1 racing number. There is a group of young chargers who are at the forefront of most fields and generally battle it out for outright honours and the ongoing kudos that is attached to claiming the title. This elite group of young drivers with plenty of talent regularly use the category as a stepping stone in their careers to a drive in V8 Supercars and beyond.

Aussie Racing Cars Pty Ltd (ARC) owns all rights to the organisation and sanctioning of motor racing involving this type of vehicle including the organisation and sanctioning of the Category, the Series or Series’. The Championship is sanctioned by the Confederation of Australian Motorsport (CAMS) however CAMS does not own any rights in respect of the series or series’ or any competition involving these type of vehicles.

The Aussie Racing Cars Name and logo are Aussie Racing Cars Pty Ltd  trademarks all rights reserved.

What is the event format?

The series is contested across Australia at tracks in NSW, VIC, QLD, SA, NT and TAS. The usual racing format at each round is one practise session, one qualifying session and four heat races that make up the round. Some rounds may include additional  qualifying sessions. The 4th and final heat carries double points with all races counting  towards the round. Generally there are two sessions on each of the three days of the event, with the exception of events like Clipsal and Gold Coast when there may be more sessions on a particular day.

How hard does the engine rev?

Rev limited to 11500 RPM. Unlike many other performance racing categories where the rev limiter is used as the gear change point, in Aussie Racing Cars running the engine to the rev limit is not necessary as the torque band starts to flatten out at around 10,000RPM. This built in safety buffer ensures long engine life which goes to the cost effectiveness of owning and racing an Aussie Racing Car.

What type of engine is used?

Yamaha 1.3 Litre four cylinder 16 valve, twin-cam producing 135bhp with integral close ratio straight cut gear sequential dog engagement gearbox.The engine is sourced from a motorcycle and has a wide torque band which is perfect for propelling a car very quickly. The engines have proven to be incredibly reliable lasting up to one and half seasons between rebuilds. A full rebuild using normal service parts(gaskets,rings,spark plugs,filter etc) costs in the order $4,500 and a brand new engine from Yamaha is $12,000

Is the engine modified?

The 1.3 Litre 16 valve, twin overhead camshaft engine produces 135BHP and is factory fitted by Yamaha with all the go fast goodies including forged slipper pistons, light weight conrods and double valve springs etc. The engine propels the car with exhilarating performance and requires no further development. The smooth and wide power band of the engine allows the car to accelerate well from low revs which is great for novice competitors right through to seasoned experts. The engine is sealed on delivery and the category rules are rigidly enforced.

How much do the cars weigh?

Minimum race weight (MRW) for the category is 595 kg.

Do the cars have reverse gear?

The cars are fitted with a reverse gear system fitted on the rear axle assembly which is engaged electrically by the simple press of a button.

Why is the clutch pedal offset?

The clutch is only used to start and stop. When driving gear changes are made simply by lifting off the throttle and clicking to the next gear. Gears are selected in milliseconds (like Indy Cars and F1).

How are gears changed?

The sequential gearbox is connected to a V8 Supercar style quick shift lever mounted up close to the steering wheel. Click back to change up gears, click forward to change down. The Gear change lever is mechanically connected to the gearbox by means of small adjustable rose jointed linkages which allow for its location to be positioned comfortably for any driver.  Gears are changed lightening fast,in fact as quick as you can lift and re depress the throttle. The exceptionally fast change response is a delight to use and allows the driver to even shift gears  while cornering.

How do I know what gear I am in?

As the driver becomes more proficient in driving the car a rhythm will develop and the performance of the car in each gear becomes obvious and a part of that rhythm. Knowing what gear you are in becomes a natural progression of the drivers ability to feel a part of the car.

How does the engine drive the wheels?

The live rear axle fitted with a spool which is connected by a tail shaft that runs down the right hand side of the car. The tailshaft  mates onto a special coupling that is fitted on the engine/gearbox output shaft (where the bike chain sprocket is normally fitted). The latest evolution billet tailshaft coupling has proven to maintain a vibration free operation with season long tailshaft life quite common.

How is the engine kept cool?

Large oil coolers and engine bay aerodynamic air ducting as well as the recent addition of water cooled cylinders to the standard Yamaha unit.

Why isn't the chassis made from chrome moly?

The emphasis of providing competitors with a product that will last many many seasons is of major importance so the use of chrome molly was totally rejected. Chrome molly has a short life expectancy when used in race car chassis applications as it needs to be continually expert checked after every use and fully stripped and Engineer approved at least each season. The highly possible need for yearly replacement or major repair makes it unviable.

How long will the chassis remain serviceable?

As the formula is designed to produce low cost racing, a frame manufactured from these race spec materials has a very long life expectancy to ensure minimal expense for competitors. [The first Aussie Racing Car chassis was manufactured in 1995, and is still racing competitively with no signs of stress or cracking]

What material is the chassis made from?

Mild steel CDW and ERW mig welded and Engineer approved to CAMS/FIA certification standards.

Are the cars safe?

These cars are a very fast racing car and although the driver is surrounded by a steel cage and strapped into an FIA approved racing seat with full harness seat belt injury may occur in the event of an accident. Although the cars attain a high racing speed, the level of grip and the short wheelbase has demonstrated that when over driven to the point of grip loss they generally spin out and come to a stop reasonably quickly. Weight is an important factor in an accident scenario as the inertia of the entire unit is proportionate to its light weight.

Do I need to paint the body?

The fibreglass body has an outwardly fibreglass finish that can easily be prepared for painting in a normal automotive finish.

Is the chassis strong?

The design of the complete chassis unit combines longitudinal and transverse rigidity characteristics that are coupled with the integral roll cage configuration to provide a unit with exceptional resistance to flex. It is 100% stiff under competition conditions which enables fine suspension tuning and excellent driver feed back Every chassis is engineer certified and CAMS/FIA homologated.

Can I order a chassis with a choice of colour?

It is superbly finished in your choice of colour in brilliant powder coating that stands the test of hard competition for many many seasons. [It is not safe to paint or powder coat a chrome molly chassis as stress cracks that occur at welds cannot be continually inspected, yet another reason for rejecting it’s use].

How do I order a new car?

Cars are delivered in complete ready to race form with only the owners sponsor signage or livery requirements to be added. Cars are supplied with a chassis set up that is capable of allowing the driver (with the appropriate skill level of course) to win races. Cars costs from AUD $65,000 (inc GST ). Cars are ready on the showroom floor to delivery within a week of initial order.

Can chassis damage be fixed?

As the frame is made from competition grade steel including CDW a section can easily be cut off and a new section welded on. [Chrome Molly frames cannot be easily repaired and are generally discarded after being distorted] New chassis cost, fully powder coated and ready for assembly is currently $3990.(+GST)

Tim Monte-(Dick Johnson Shell Helix Falcon Competitor)

“I have only ever watched Indy and can’t believe I had the opportunity to race at such a prestigious event. After my Indy crash the car was severely damaged and the factory did a fantastic job getting it fixed so I didn’t miss the next event”

Have any cars been in a big accident?

As you would expect in such a tightly contested class there has been some accidents, John Macey driving the Meghaven Hire Motorsport Classic Holden was the first to up end his car.. While leading a reverse grid race at Queensland Raceway he dropped a wheel off the track edge on the 150 kph turn, the car spun around several times before  spectacularly rolling over 3 times. Macey emerged without even a seat belt bruise and the roll cage structure came through with only superficial powdercoat bruising predominately where it had skidded upside down along the road. No mechanical parts of the car separated and it could have been driven back to the pits after the crash. This accident demonstrates the amazing structural integrity of the marque.

Travis Edwards-VIP Petfoods Racing Team  quote after his crash when the car rolled 9 times at Winton

“The main cage was undamaged and only needed a front clip which was fitted quickly by the factory to get me to the next round. In the crash I stubbed my big toe which I think got banged on the brake pedal which, apart from my pride, was my only injury”

Do I get help setting up and driving my car?

Every other racing class available at the moment forces competitors to go it alone both in car preparation and driving improvement. The Aussie Racing Car category is formulated so that all competitors are continually provided with information relating to Preparation, car setup racing protocol and driver guidance. Phil Ward and the Works Team Crew is on hand at every track outing to share their wealth of experience gained over many years of race team ownership, preparation and driving. The category has now been in operation for over a decade and in that time virtually every mechanical scenario has been experienced in one way or another. New competitors reap the benefit of this experience and are fast tracked in to focusing on driving rather than repairs and set up.

What am I allowed to do to my car?

Owners are encouraged to maintain their cars to an exceptionally high standard of preparation at a level comparative to when it was first delivered. The basic rule is that owners can change anything you can undo and do up with a spanner There is total freedom in the area of suspension and chassis set up using the provisions of the components as fitted. For clarification in simplistic terms a componant cannot be taken off and replaced by a non genuine non approved component

Can I build my own car?

Only cars manufactured in accordance with the FIA/CAMS certification which are eligible to compete under the nationally recognised regulations. Each car is specifically identified in various ways including the inclusion of data dot technologly.

Who is buying Aussie Racing Cars?

The whole motor racing world is buzzing with the excitement over this thrilling and cost effective category and cars cannot be built fast enough. The level of interest so far has exceeded all expectations and is bigger than has been witnessed before in any class in Australia. Competitors from first timer novices through to veterans just enjoying their racing and young guns on their way to the top are competing side by side on an equal footing. With over 50 cars now built Aussie Racing Cars Australia is now formally recognized as the biggest manufacturer of a single type of racing car ever in Australia (Larry Perkins has built 41 Holden V8’s and Elfin built 42 of their 600 series open wheelers)

Leon McIndoe- Competitor

“I had never raced anything before purchasing an Aussie Racing Car. I have now been in the category for 4 years and have raced at every event .My driving ability has developed from spending more time off the road in the first season to now be able to comfortably run competitively in the top pack at most events. It is the most exciting thing I have ever done, I have even had some sponsorship arranged for me by the category organisers”

Are there any second-hand cars for sale?

Second hand cars come up for sale from time to time but when they do they are snapped up quickly. If you are considering purchasing a second hand car it is recommended that you contact the Aussie Racing Factory who will advise of availability. To ensure that a second hand car is totally eligible in every respect to compete in the category and that the previous owner is representing it in a light that is fully sanctioned by Aussie Racing Cars it is recommended that you only purchase in the second hand market with the full cooperation of the Factory. Check out the cars that are currently for sale here.

Mark Duckworth (ARC competitor car No 35)

“I sold my FJ and purchased a second hand Falcon. I raced the FJ for several seasons and it didn’t devalue at all. I love this class and wouldn’t miss an event”

How can I get a drive?

There are several ways that you can race.

1) You can purchase a car and maintain it yourself, the majority of the cars competing at the moment are driver owned.

2) You can purchase a car so you own it but have it maintained and have it transported by the works team for a reasonable cost and even have it housed in the race workshop between events if you wish.

3) You can enter into an arrive and drive arrangement .whereby a car will be provided ready to race at the track for the various rounds of the series. This option gives you the flexibility to just turn up, jump in and race at a cost that is much more reasonable than any other true racing class. All preparation work,race set up and repairs is carried out at the track by the Works Team. Most competitors do not understand the technical aspects of optimum chassis set up and the close association with the works team mechanics will assist you to understand how to get the most out of your car and thereby give you that competitive edge. Your own sponsor signage can be displayed on the car.

Dennis O’Sullivan (TDK Team driver #9 Commodore)

“This is my 3rd season racing in the class in a works prepared car. I had never raced anything before and know nothing about mechanics or car set up, just turning up and having the car ready to jump into and race has been fantastic and I would thoroughly recommend going racing like this to anyone who wants to get professional at track support”

Gary Willlmington (General Manager of Wakefield Park and Veteran Touring Car Competitor)

“Every one has been telling me how good these little cars are to drive and now that I have driven one I cant believe how true that is, they are really unbelievable. I have to say it is one of the most exciting racing cars I have ever driven here at Wakefield. I want one!”

Does Phil Ward race in the events?

Phil Ward is the creator of Aussie Racing Cars category. He is incredibly passionate about his product and he thrives on a  continual analysis of perfecting its integrity and longevity. His close understanding of the intricacies of the car design and its on track performance capabilities he has been a prime factor in the products success. Competing in the races has enabled him to expertly monitor the ongoing quality control of the product from behind the wheel that is an asset in the category recognised to be second to none in the racing industry. This hands on behind the wheel approach has a fantastic flow on to all participants in the category as it provides exclusive and valuable first hand car set up advice. Whilst he competes on the track with the determination of any competitor  at season end it has been common practice for him to withdraw from the final point score. Phil Wards’ driver role is to continually provide feedback for the benefit of all competitors.

“I am very fortunate after 40 plus years in the sport to be able to still get behind the wheel and race hard in a properly constructed and engineered racing car that is more exhilarating than anything else I have ever campaigned. I get a huge amount of satisfaction seeing a smile on  everyones face each time they jump out of their car, when I stop smiling it will probably be time for me to hang up my helmet but until then I will keep sharing that experience with everyone in the category”. Phil Ward

Where do the cars race?

The category is an officially recognised support category of the V8 Supercar championship. The series has rounds across the Australia and is endorsed at a National level and in New Zealand at various tracks in the both the North and South Islands.

The series is run at the biggest motorsport events in the country, including the Clipsal 500, the streets of Olympic Park at the Sydney Telstra 500,  Mount Panorama Bathurst, Gold Coast Street Circuit and all other major race tracks in Australia and New Zealand.  the category has also raced several times as an official support category to the Formula 1 World Championship in Melbourne.

Is the integrity of the Aussie Racing Cars protected?

After the first decade of success in the industry the category is regarded as the most stable of any in all of Australian Motorsport. The cars have not principally changed since the first one was delivered and second hand prices have maintained quite a stable high. The category administrator has a long term contract with CAMS that has the effect of ensuring that your investment in the product will be maintained  at an ongoing level of security higher than any other form of racing. In the majority of other categories cars are outdated continually, and in a lot of cases annually(eg Formula Ford,Utes) the long term competitive operational life of  an Aussie Racing Car is guaranteed to well exceed anything before it. It should be noted that resultant from the incredible success the Phil Ward Aussie Racing Cars category is having, there is the possibility of others attempting to plagiarise and cash in on this success. If you are approached by any person who suggests they have a product that fits into the philosophy and market acceptance of this unique category then you should check with Aussie Racing Cars as to the bonefide of any other product before making any commitment in that direction. Aussie Racing Cars operating under FIA certification closely monitor all racing activities in Australia to ensure your investment in the product is protected.

How is the category controlled?

The category concept, rules and regulations have been created and developed by Aussie Racing Cars which is by agreement administered by CAMS. The rules are strictly enforced by CAMS so that all racing is close and exciting with driver skill being the hallmark. All performance orientated components are standardised and cannot be modified. Full freedom is allowed in relation to suspension adjustment and set up, basically anything you can undo and do up with a spanner is free. The Works team crew are closely involved at the track to assist all competitors with optimum set up and maintenance and in addition work closely with CAMS to ensure that the maximum enjoyment of motorsport is achieved.

Ian Mayberry-CAMS Race Director

“The rules in Aussie Racing Cars are designed to reflect a commitment from the manufacturer that ensures a fair and even competition. I have been the CAMS nominated race director from the inauguration and in that time have seen the stature and integrity of the category go from strength to strength. When you consider  the huge fields,the speeds achieved and the closeness of the racing I believe this category demonstrates the highest of standards in the sport.

What is the grid capacity?

As these cars are small the grid capacity has been approved by CAMS to be higher than any other National category for example Eastern Creek can start 57 Aussie Racing Cars. Some owners do not attend every event so the high grid capacity allows flexibility to accommodate most. It has been generally accepted in motorsport in the past couple of years to see a reduction in entry numbers but  Aussie Racing Cars is like no other enjoying  a surge in growth particularly towards next season. A new focus by category management is being made to gain more sponsor support for competitors as the profile of the category builds to its highest level ever. Many drivers currently competing and supporting the objectives of the category are reaping the value of expanded benefits that are available to them.

Do you need a CAMS licence?

A CAMS Provisional Circuit (PC) licence is the minimum requirement that you need to compete in the series. After 5 events this can be upgraded to a National Circuit(NC)

1) The first thing to do is download the PC application form from  www.cams.com.au.

2) Fill out the form and obtain a medical from a doctor listed in the application form.

3) Join a CAMS car club. The Aussie Racing Car Club is CAMS affiliated(call 02 96326667 to be joined up)

4)Do the online CAMS test

5) Send in your completed form with payment to CAMS. You will now receive a pre licence.

6) We can arrange your driver observation.

7)Go racing.

Is the class being promoted as an ‘all out’ racing class?

The philosophy behind the class is to provide a category of racing car that has all the aspects of a true full race V8 Supercar, Super Tourer or Formula Car that can be enjoyed at a very low cost by a large spectrum of competitors The Aussie Racing Car is purpose built for serious racing competition. The chassis configuration provides the opportunity for drivers to learn all aspects of true race car setup techniques and the closeness of racing gives drivers a strong grounding in racecraft and competition experience that has been proven to surpass any other category. In addition the category  is a platform for a whole range of driver ambitions from the serious racer through to the veteran racers to the family man who just wants to have fun. This is now recognised as a true driver feeder category to the V8’s and beyond and the involvement of V8 Supercar Teams into the category including Garry Rogers Motorsport, Paul Morris Supercheap Racing,Brad Jones Racing and Autobarn Racing has shown that. Your involvement in the category will have you rubbing shoulders with the big names in the sport in the huge category pit marquee and then going wheel to wheel with their drivers in equal equipment on the track.