Words – Paul Griffin & Glen Vincent (President of V8 Non Wing Sprints Australia)
In April 2015 Glen Vincent and his son Matt were running V6 Wingless Sprintcars in Western Australia.
Rewind a touch and back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s Glen campaigned both 320 and 360 Sprintcars. He loved the performance and sound of the V8 engines and when he got into V6 Wingless cars he passionately dreamt of the prospect of a new V8 Non Wing Sprintcar class in Australia.
As an experiment Glen decided it would be interesting to put a Holden LS1 (Gen III) power plant into a second car that they had lying around.
After considerable public chat about it with hundreds of people on Facebook, they found there was huge interest in a possible V8 Non Wing category.
Glen and matt met with several people who had already put LS1’s into Sprintcars and with the help of two mates Paul Harris and Jason Bloxsidge they then arranged a public meeting to decide on a direction for the possible class.
The LS1 engine was chosen for its Aussie appeal, lightweight construction, low cost and availability.
The full aluminium 5.7 litre pushrod engine was available in selected Holden products from 1999 to 2006. Produced locally by Holden and sharing many aspects of a Chev design, it was a great street engine that was blessed with awesome horsepower straight out of the showroom.
A mechanical throttle body fuel injection system was chosen for the LS1 to eliminate any computer interface and associated electronics and also to allow competitors to run standard Sprintcar fuel, power steering pumps and other parts.
A committee was established and they went about setting up the concept of the new class.
Some difficult challenges and hurdles were encountered early on, but this determined group remained focused and continued on building the class.
In WA the club currently comprises 10 cars. Numerous private development sessions have been held in the past few months to iron out any bugs and get the drivers up to speed in preparation for the inaugural December unveiling of the category at Avon Valley Speedway in Western Australia (For further race and track details see earlier post)
The following video clip is from the very first test session of the #9 Vincent Maxim at WA’s Avon Valley Speedway:
In terms of National spread, the V8 Non Wing Sprintcars have well and truly established themselves in Queensland with racing is already in full swing at Carine Speedway, Bundaberg.
The first race at Carine was on September 10th 2016 and saw local Ace Brendan Parker becoming the first National Feature race winner of the V8 Non Winged class.
Victoria is also embracing the category with a state sub-committee already established. A home track has been identified and several cars are well advanced in the build phase. The plan is for Victorian racing to commence next season, with some practice and demonstration runs to be held in the meantime.
As part of the journey to launch the new category, the class has become an affiliate of USAC (United States Auto Club) with all drivers holding USAC competition licences and insurance from Motorsport Insurance here in Australia
The all-important LS1 engine plant won’t break the bank either and is completely aligned with two key mandates of the class – “Big horsepower and affordable racing”.
This class is all about going fast, having fun, putting on a spectacle and doing it on a modest budget.
A low km second hand LS1 will set the Teams back just $1500 while fully reconditioned units complete with injection, MSD ignition and all the bolt-on stuff will round out at about $11,000.
The engines are rev limited to 6200 RPM and apart from a valve spring upgrade and minor compression increase, the only other allowable alterations are purely cosmetic. Power is typically in the realms of 460 HP and toque about 440 ft lbs.
The class has a right rear tyre compound rule whereby you are only permitted to run a WAV or harder tyre in any make.
According to Glen Vincent they are also in the process of adding some additional chassis safety rules which combined with the existing rules will see the class enjoy the highest Sprintcar safety specs in the World.
Given the relatively low initial cost to build a car (thanks largely to the engine) and the close completion that the class promises to deliver, it’s going to be interesting to watch the development and rise of the V8 Non Wing Sprints on the National front.
For more info on V8 Non Wing Sprints contact Glen Vincent (President of V8 Non Wing Sprints Australia) on 0406 462 651 or you can email Glen on email@example.com .
Membership forms and rules are on the V8 Non Wing Sprints website: www.V8nonwingsprints.com.au