by Bruce Williams

The final specification of the new MARC Car took to the track at QLD Raceway today for a series of tests before being shipped to new owner Mark Petch in New Zealand.

The new car is now complete with all final body panels installed and is now ready to go through the final testing process.

Today’s test follows several previous tests, including a day at QR when the prototype ran without some of the major body panels now fitted to the full prototype.

MARC GT Inspired by C63 – Image by Mick Reynolds MTR Images

The MARC GT is the third evolution of the MARC Car program, with cars that first began racing in 2013 and is the latest incarnation inspired by a Mercedes C63 coupe.

Developed in conjunction with PACE Innovations, the MARC GT is a significant development over the previous two models.

The first of the batch of MARC GTs is owned by Mark Petch, owner of Racer Products in New Zealand.

Petch is the importer for MARC Cars in New Zealand and this chassis will be shipped to New Zealand after testing and will continue to test there and display it to potential customers in New Zealand.

MARC Cars team principal Alyson Fradgley spoke to QLD Raceway’s AUTO ACTION this morning about the testing schedule and plans to begin building the new MARC GT for customers.

“It’s been a while to come, but today we’re testing the final version of the car complete with final body spec.

“It is also exciting that we are also giving some of our confirmed and potential customers a sample of the car as we have fitted a passenger seat to the car.

“Although the car looks very much like a C63, in order to save on build costs and in keeping with the spirit of MARC Cars, we always seek to maximize the value of cars and keep build costs as low as possible, so it takes on some of the main components of the previous MARC II.

“We have firm orders for four of the new cars for local competition and we are building two cars to send to New Zealand.

“Now that the prototype is complete and tested, we will begin the build program for customer cars next month, with the expectation that the first of these new cars will be delivered to customers and hit the track next January.” . Fradgley confirmed to AUTOMATIC ACTION.

MARC Cars was originally developed by Ryan McLeod and later purchased by long-time MARC Car racer Geoff Tauton.

Geoff Taunton, CEO of MARC Cars, was available for testing, who told AUTO ACTION about some of the major changes to the MARC Car program in this release.

MARC GT designed and manufactured by PACE Innovations – Image by Mick Reynolds MTR Images

“It is a proud and exciting time for MARC Cars and PACE Innovations as we have made some significant updates to the concept with this new third iteration of the car.

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“The changes made to the MARC GT platform make the car cheaper to build in the first place and we believe you will also see significant cost reductions to race cars.

“This is the latest technology, built on top of the MARC I and MARC II programs, and PACE Innovations has worked hard to create a great new package, based on what we know.” Tauton confirmed.

While retaining much of the engineering and many of the major components from the MARC Car program that have been developed over more than nine years of competition, a major change to the MARC GT program will be the power plant, with a switch to the Chevrolet engine. LS3. .

The LS3 platform will deliver slightly more power and running costs are claimed to be cheaper than previous Ford Coyote-powered MARC I and II race cars that have been in service for the past few years.

Explaining the move to the Chevrolet LS3 engine program, Tauton told us about the move to the LS3 platform.

“Some changes have been made on the mechanical side and from now on the MARC GT will feature a 6.2-litre LS3 engine.

“The LS engine is significantly cheaper to buy than the Ford Coyote engine package that our other MARC cars have used, as the cost of the Ford engine has increased significantly in recent times, so we have switched to the LS engine.

“These are brand new engines and they are like the power units that go into Trans Am cars that are raced locally, so we know a lot about how they work and the reliability that they will provide, etc.” Taunton told AA.

“Once it’s fully developed, we think the lap times produced will have performance similar to that of the Porsche Cup Car, all that performance at a cost of around $275,000, and that’s a race car with the latest technical GT features. , such as traction control and ABS, all controlled by MoTeC systems.

Gene Rollinson, who works for Mark Petche’s Racer Products in New Zealand, drives the new car today, with former Bathurst 1000 winner Luke Youlden and Geoff Taunton conducting test sessions in the new car.

Over the past season, MARC Cars Australia has been testing a series of MARC Cars with a view to running a full schedule of independent series next year.

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The planned 2023 MARC Series will allow all MARC cars to compete together, separated by classes based on car model.

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