Holden VF Commodore V8 Supercar - the continuation of the successful story
The Holden VF Commodore is the latest iteration of the fourth generation Commodore, which was in use at V8 Supercars Championship since 2013. First Commodores appeared at racing tracks in 1980 and this model is one of two the most significant cars in Australian racing history. The second is, of course, Ford Falcon.
VF Commodore race car is based on the production version of Commodore VF, but the race cars generally have no physical or mechanical relationship with the production model, other than similar looks. Only certain body panels, headlights and tail lamps are common between the road car and the V8 Supercar.
Racing Commodore was presented just a day after road car
The racing variant of the all-new VF Commodore was presented in February 2013, just one day after Holden unveiled its stunning new VF Commodore road car. Holden Motorsport Manager Simon McNamara said that it was the first time in Commodore’s 35-year history where the racing variant had been revealed so close to the road car’s debut.
Built according to the new regulations
The V8 Supercars version of the VF was designed by Ludo Lacroix in conjunction with Holden and the Holden Racing Team. The VF was built according to New Generation V8 Supercar regulations (also called Cars of the Future regulations), valid since 2013.
Impressive numbers: 635 hp and 300 km/h
Main differences compared to 2012 models were fixed chassis design and specification, engine mounted 100mm further back and down, increased wheel and tyre size to 18-inch with bigger brakes, polycarbonate windscreens, collapsible steering column with collapsible section in engine bay, transmission incorporates the differential and gearbox in one assembly, adoption of IRS (Independent Rear Suspension) and fuel cell moved further forward in the car to protect from rear impacts.
The V8 Supercar version of Commodore VF features a 5.0-litre V8 engine. Estimated power is 635 bhp and maximum speed is about 300 km/h. The car weighs 1410 kg (with driver) and can speed up to 100 km/h for 3.4 seconds.
Holden Commodore’s connection with NASCAR’s Chevrolet SS
The VF Commodore race car was very different to previous VE model and his introduction marked the beginning of the new era, not only because of new regulations. For the first time since 2009 the Holden’s Lion was back on the bonnet. It was also the first Holden V8 Supercar to feature an end-mounted rear wing since the VP Commodore in the 1990s.
As known, Holden is a part of General Motors and there is strong connection with some other race cars. Holden VF Commodore is built on the same road-going Zeta platform as the Gen6 Chevrolet SS. The SS is, as you know, racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Victorious debut for Holden VF Commodore VF
The VF had a debut at the 2013 Clipsal 500, the first race of 2013 V8 Supercars season. Debut was very successful because Craig Lowndes and Shane Van Gisbergen took their cars to victory in two races. Van Gisbergen also claimed both pole positions.
28 victories in the first season
The VF Commodore was used by Triple Eight Race Engineering, Tekno Autosports, Brad Jones Racing, Garry Rogers Motorsport and the Holden Racing Team in its first season of racing and it took 28 victories in 36 races. The most successful driver was Jamie Whincup with 11 victories. Holden secured the 2013 Manufacturers’ Championship, whilst Jamie Whincup won his fifth championship title driving Commodore, ahead of Triple Eight Race Engineering team-mate Craig Lowndes.
Double championship titles in 2013, 2014 and 2016
In the 2014 season Holden Racing Team, Triple Eight Race Engineering, Tekno Autosports and Brad Jones Racing remained with VF Commodore, while Garry Rogers Motorsrports switched to Volvo. Holdens took 27 victories during season. Jamie Whincup sucessfully defended his drivers’ championship, securing a record sixth title. His team Triple Eigth Race Engineering also retained teams’ championship and Holden again was best manufacturer.
The 2015 V8 Supercars season was again victorious year for Holden and Triple Eight Race Engineering, which took manufacturers’ and teams’ titles. Holden VF Commodore was victorious car in 19 races. Drivers’ title was won by Ford driver Mark Winterbottom and the best placed Holden driver was Craig Lowndes on 2nd place.
In 2016, Triple Eight Race Engineering again took a double crown with Holden VF Commodores. This time, the New Zealander Shane Van Gisbergen clinched his maiden V8SC title, battling against teammate Jamie Whincup until the last round. In the teams’ standings, two Holden teams were in front (Triple Eight and HRT).
Video: Holden VF Commodore – the comparison with Holden road cars