THE reveal of the Gen3-spec Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 opens a new chapter for General Motors in the Repco Supercars Championship with the introduction of the Chevrolet Racing brand.
Chevrolet’s Camaro won a pair of Australian Touring Car Championships in the hands of Bob Jane in 1971-72, while Kevin Bartlett won pole position for the Bathurst 1000 twice in 1980-81 in his spectacular Channel Nine-backed car.
Although a Camaro hasn’t been on a championship grid since the mid-1980s, Chevrolet had a strong, albeit low-profile, presence in the 1990s.
GALLERY: The Gen3 Ford Mustang GT Supercar
GALLERY: The Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
FORD LIVE UPDATES: Follow today’s race action at the Repco Bathurst 1000
The introduction of five-litre V8 rules in 1993 allowed Holden runners to use a Chevrolet V8 engine, which powered Commodores to Bathurst wins in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, and championship titles in 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002.
“Our company has a proud history of racing in the Australian Touring Car Championship and in Supercars for over five decades, Jim Campbell, Chevrolet Performance and Racing, said.
“Today we’re excited to announce a new chapter in the history of Australian motorsports with the introduction of Chevrolet Racing and the all-new Gen3 Camaro ZL1 for Supercars.
“It took close collaboration between key partners to make this a reality, including the Triple Eight Race Engineering team; KRE Engines, working with our Propulsion, Performance & Racing Centre; the Supercars Gen3 Steering Committee as well as the designers who were responsible for the production Camaro and other Camaro global race programmes.
“The new Gen3 Camaro ZL1, with the unmistakable roar of the Chevrolet Racing 5.7L naturally aspirated LTR V8, will do its part to create exciting racing in Supercars and we can’t wait to start our engines in 2023.”
Marc Ebolo, Managing Director of GM Australia and New Zealand, echoed similar sentiments, especially with regards to the launch of Chevrolet Racing.
“The look and sound of the new Gen3 Camaro is just incredible. This represents an all-new era, one in which Chevrolet Racing and our close alignment with GM Motorsport is an ongoing demonstration of our passion for competition and commitment to the sport.
“Chevrolet Racing is the future motorsports brand for General Motors Australia and New Zealand, providing ongoing excitement and a platform to support our existing portfolio of brands: GM Specialty Vehicles, Holden Certified Service, GM Trade Parts and ACDelco.
“Today’s announcement is particularly timely as GMSV has just celebrated 12-months of operation in Australia and New Zealand and race fans will be able to see the full portfolio of new models here at Bathurst across the weekend, including the debut of Chevrolet Silverado Heavy Duty LTZ Premium and right-hand-drive C8 Corvette.”
The Camaro ZL1 will join the new Ford Mustang GT in cutting demonstration laps at Mount Panorama during the Repco Bathurst 1000 weekend, with Triple Eight’s Shane van Gisbergen receiving the honour of the first laps behind the wheel of the Chevrolet.