TraNZam for the new millennium comes with a trans-Tasman snub

Did I miss something, or is this a huge snub? The ‘Gen II’ spec and concept for the BNT NZ V8s released last week displays a fantastic-looking Chev Camaro and – unlike Aussie’s stretch-limo for the Mustang – is designed to accommodate two-door large couple body styles.

But deep in the detail is the single sentence: the build of these new cars has been handed to Aussie’s Pace Innovations.

While Hamilton-based Mitchell Race Xtreme had initially been named as the chassis builder, Pace Innovations will in fact supply the cars as a turnkey package for AUD $230,000 AUD ex works. Plus GST. Plus freight to New Zealand.

Pace is the same company responsible for Supercars’ Car of the Future chassis, the MARC Cars, and the New Zealand V8 SuperTourers which currently run in Class One, the top level of BNT V8s, alongside the Mitchell-built TLX cars from the NZV8s.

Our peso languishes around .90 AUS, so your car will probably edge closer to $260,000 NZD sitting on the wharf here in Auckland, or a little more down south.

Don’t put that Amex away just yet. How many wheels will you need for a season in your new Pace V8GT ZC1? The cars will arrive on Pace’s flow forged 18×11” rims with centre lock spindles, which will take the existing Dunlop tyre.

The cars will race in the NZV8s top class against the current TLX race cars.

The first comments on social media cut right to the heart of the issue: can New Zealand afford this?

Looking at the spec, I think we are in another “Back to the Future” moment. These beasts, running race-tuned LS3 Chev engines, have so much race gear on board they would stand alongside the old TraNZam category at its most spectacular (and expensive).

The biggest difference this time is the use of the single chassis with panels draped to fit and give an impression of diversity on the grid. Other two-door bodies, including but not limited to Mustang- and Challenger-style shapes, are also possible, and there is provision for the use of brand-specific engines which raises issues of parity but exorcises the bug-bear of having the Chev engine in a Ford-branded car explode in a sheet of oil flame and smoke – to the disgust of the former brand.

All cars will use the Albins ST6 six speed sequential transaxle with paddle-shifters.

The new generation cars will compete in Class One but have also been designed to be capable of modification to race in New Zealand’s North and South Island endurance championships and the like.

No sales have yet been announced, although series organisers are currently taking enquiries. In the meantime, have a look at the very comprehensive spec for the new cars:

V8GT ZC1 Technical Specification

Concept GT Car, 2 door coupe, rear wheel drive
Body Style V8GT – ZC1
Weight 1200kg est. dry weight
Chassis Common platform chassis. 25CrMo4 alloy steel space frame. Bolt on front & rear crash structures
Body Composite panels with Lexan windscreen and windows. Removable bonnet & rear decklid. LH & RH opening doors
Aero Package Composite splitter, flat floor, composite diffuser, adjustable rear wing
Lighting OEM tail lights and FIA rain light
Engine N/A 6.2l LS3 based full race engine. Velocity Engineering dry sump oil scavenging system with external oil tank. Velocity rocker covers. Fast intake manifold. Fully built rotating assembly. Drive by wire. 98 Octane with E85 compatibility. 630HP, 7200RPM limit
Engine Management M150 GPRP ECU, PDM 30
Fuel System FIA-FT3 fuel cell, 18-gallon (65L) capacity. Combined in-tank fuel pot/collector unit with lift pumps and main pump w/filler plate
Airbox/Intake Intake duct through front bumper to custom airbox
Exhaust Full custom mandrel exhaust (Mild Steel) with muffler
Cooling PWR engine & oil cooling system with front bumper duct
Transmission Rear mounted Albins ST6 6-Speed transaxle, integrated spool differential. Internal oil pump, dual external air-oil coolers. Transaxle mounted clutch housing, alternator, and starter motor (Tilton). Option for LSD $2,000 AUD excl GST at time of purchase
Rear Drive Incorporated in transaxle. Changeable drop gears. Steel driveshafts with CVs. Single piece solid prop shaft.
Clutch & Flywheel Tilton 5.5” 3 plate metal heavy duty clutch, Albins flywheel.
Shifting System Pneumatic shift actuation with steering wheel mounted shifter paddles
Front Suspension Independent front suspension, double unequal length wishbone with spherical bearings. Mechanic adjustable anti-roll bar. Direct-acting Ohlins 2-way coil-over shock
Rear Suspension Independent rear suspension, double unequal length wishbones with spherical bearings. Mechanic adjustable anti-roll bar. Direct-acting Ohlins 2-way coil-over shock
Front Upright Ambidextrous custom upright, bolt-in replaceable spindle/bearing unit, camber adjustment via shim stack
Rear Upright Ambidextrous custom upright, bolt-in replaceable spindle/bearing unit, camber adjustment via shim stack
Front Brakes Brembo 6 piston forged caliper to suit Brembo 380mm, 53.5mm annulus rotor. Cooling via 5” brake ducts from front bumper intake
Rear Brakes Brembo 4 Piston forged caliper to suit Brembo 332mm, 53.5mm annulus rotor
Pedals Tilton 3 pedals (fixed position) with driver adjustable brake bias. Tilton master cylinders
Steering Electronic power steering rack. Woodward collapsible steering column
Fire Suppression In cabin handheld fire extinguisher
Air Jacks Inboard air jacks with external spike fill
Rim Pace Innovations flow forged 18×11” rim, centre lock spindles
Tyres Category supplied Dunlop 18×11” Tyre
Wiring Harness Heatshrink sealed chassis and engine harness with expansion patch
Data logging/Display MoTeC C125 display (120mb logging enabled)
5” full colour display
GPS lap timing
Engine diagnostics
Front & rear master cylinder pressures
Front wheel speed sensors
Steering position sensor
Analysis through Motec i2 or i2 Pro
Driver Interface OMP Seat, harness, and steering wheel w/quick disconnect.
Estimated Cost $230,000 AUD excl GST, ex Pace Innovations Yatala, QLD, Australia

Mark Baker

Mark Baker has been working in automotive PR and communications for more than two decades. For much longer than that he has been a motorsport journalist, photographer and competitor, witness to most of the most exciting and significant motorsport trends and events of the mid-late 20th Century. His earliest memories of motorsport were trips to races at Ohakea in the early 1960s, and later of annual summer pilgrimages to watch Shellsport racers and Mini 7s at Bay Park and winter sorties into forests around Kawerau and Rotorua to see the likes of Russell Brookes, Ari Vatanen and Mike Marshall ply their trade in group 4 Escorts. Together with Murray Taylor and TV producer/director Dave Hedge he has been responsible for helping to build New Zealand’s unique Toyota Racing Series into a globally recognized event brand under category managers Barrie and Louise Thomlinson. Now working for a variety of automotive and mainstream commercial clients, Mark has a unique perspective on recent motor racing history and the future career paths of our best and brightest young racers.

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