Bahrain V8s: Chevrolet Supercars Middle East opens for registration with major upgrades package
Heading into the new campaign, the Chevrolet Supercars Middle East remains one of the region’s most popular and most highly regarded circuit racing series, and the only one sanctioned by the International Automobile Federation (FIA).
The upcoming campaign will mark the fourth edition of the Chevrolet Motorsport-backed championship, and it promises to be the best one yet.
The season will consist of six exciting rounds, to be held at four different tracks across the Gulf, including the series’ home track at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, Reem International Circuit in Riyadh and Losail International Circuit in Doha.
The championship is set to flag off with the Round One on December 2 and 3 at ‘The Home of Motorsport in the Middle East’. It will then culminate several months later with Round Six slated for April of 2011. The full season calendar will be issued in the beginning of October.
Several new changes will be seen this season in both the series’ SC09 class for elite and professional drivers and the SC06 category for gentleman competitors.
In the SC09 class, a championship for teams will be introduced to add to what is already a heated battle for the drivers title. This team concept will be a first for a regional series, and it will raise the level of competitiveness between the participants. Each driver this season will be required to have a valid Competition Racing Licence, issued by their respective national motorsport authorities. Teams, on the other hand, must have valid Entrants Licences, also issued from their respective national motorsport authorities, to be able to officially compete in the series.
Sherif Al Mahdy, Sporting Championship Manager of the Chevrolet Supercars Middle East, commented: “This season will be like nothing we have seen in the past. The introduction of an SC09 teams championship will increase the enthusiasm among the drivers and their fellow-competitors, and spark a level of excitement and bravado that will surely add to the competitive nature of the series. With this, and with the numerous upgrades that have been done on the cars in both classes, it is no doubt that the upcoming campaign will be our most thrilling yet.”
So whats new Tech wise –
Each of the SC09 and SC06 cars have gone through a series of upgrades leading up to the 2010/2011 season. The most significant changes made to the SC09 challengers were on the engine, suspension, cooling system and wiring. The engine has been changed to the all-new GM LSX 376, which is a purpose-built, high-performance engine offering 50bhp more than the previous engine. The suspension has been re-designed with steel spherical joints replacing the rubber bushes of the previous model. This increases rigidity for more consistent suspension angles. The suspension track has also been increased 20mm on the front axle for greater stability, and adjustable anti-roll bars have been added for drivers to fine tune the car to their driving style.
Higher capacity water/oil radiators combined with aerodynamically enhanced ducting has been installed. They provide a much higher cooling capacity over the previous model for lower operating temperatures and increased endurance.
Finally, this year’s SC09 vehicle chassis loom has been completely re-designed, incorporating military standard connectors for bulkhead locations and a simplified all-in-one electrical centre for quick and simple fault finding. Meanwhile, in the SC06 cars, the most important improvements done were on the suspension, gearbox, in-car lap timing system and braking.
This coming season, the 06 class cars will be using up-rated and lowered coil-over suspension units, as well as re-engineered suspension geometry. These give much improved handling and tyre-wear over the previous model and all suspension bushes have been replaced with up-rated urethane components for further handling enhancement.
The gearboxes have been modified with new internal components to improve shift quality and durability. Incorporated with these modifications is a custom short shifter, which brings the shifting position much closer to the steering wheel for easier, more precise gear changes.
All SC06 cars now feature an in-car lap timer to allow the driver to see his best lap time and the time of the lap just completed during the course of a session. This is beneficial to the drivers as they may now analyze their performances while competing. Finally, braided brake hoses with Teflon liners have been added to all SC06 challengers to reduce fade and improve driver braking feel.
A driver’s package is now available online on the Chevrolet Supercars Middle East’s official website, www.supercarsme.com, for complete details about rules and regulations, costs, car specifications, prizes, etc.