By Bruce Williams

The latest version of the Australian designed and built MARC car has taken to the track for a basic systems shakedown test at Queensland Raceway.

The MARC GT prototype was tested without any major body panel components fitted, including the nose, hood, rear side panels, trunk lid and rear bumpers.

The PACE Innovations test session with former Super2 driver Dan Jilesen completing the laps behind the wheel.

Although the car looked very incomplete, it contained the main aerodynamic components that will be carried over to the production versions of the new Mercedes C63-inspired coupé race car.

MARC Cars owner Geoff Taunton was on hand to see the latest creation hit the track in its unfinished form and spoke to AUTO ACTION while the test was underway.

“PACE Innovations wanted to give the chassis and powertrain components some verification testing and it all went really well,” Taunton said.

“It looked a little clunky, but it was perfectly safe with all the major aerodynamic components in place, including the front splitter and rear wing, which allowed us to test what has been developed so far for this new car.

“It is an exciting moment for MARC Cars and PACE Innovations as we have made some significant updates to the concept with this new version of the car.

“First of all, the changes made make the car cheaper to build and we think the costs to race the cars will come down significantly as well.

“This is the latest technology, developed through the MARC I and MARC II programs, and PACE Innovations has worked hard to come up with an amazing new package, building on what we know. It shows great speed and balance for its first session on the track.

The new MARC GT car made its track debut at the Queensland Raceway – Images: MTR Images

“Once it is fully developed, we believe that lap times will be comparable to Porsche Cup Car at a price of about $275,000, which is a race car with the latest GT technical features such as traction control, ABS, all controlled by MoTeC systems.

“Some changes have been made on the mechanical side and the MARC GT will have an LS3 6.2 liter engine. The LS engine is significantly cheaper to buy than the Ford Coyote engine that our other MARC cars have used.

“The cost of purchasing the Ford engine has risen significantly recently, so we replaced the LS engine. They are new engines similar to the powerplants fitted to the locally driven Trans Am cars so we have a lot of knowledge of how they perform and reliability etc.

“We think it’s a great new package and we still believe, as with all our cars, that this is a great stepping stone to Supercars – they have many similar features and the speed to match at a very affordable price.

“This prototype will see the rest of the panels arrive at the end of August for final testing. Production cars for customers will follow, with the first three ‘chassis’ already sold.”

The prototype MARC GT is owned by Mark Petch who owns Racer Products in NZ. Petch is the importer of MARC Cars in New Zealand and this chassis will be shipped to New Zealand after testing in August for further testing and showing to potential customers in New Zealand.

A total of 28 MARC Cars were built during the programme, and most recently MARC Cars Australia has piloted a MARC Cars Championship in 2022 and with a view to running a full standalone series calendar next year.

The MARC series allows all MARC cars to race together, separated by classes depending on the car model.

For more of the latest motorsport news get the current number of Auto Action


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *