Supercars has paid tribute to the role Holden has played in the history of the sport, following news the brand will cease by 2021.
Parent company General Motors announced today it will retire the iconic Australian brand as part of a withdrawal from all right-hand-drive markets.
The move follows the end of local production in 2017 and last December’s confirmation that the Commodore nameplate would be dropped.
Producing its first car in 1948, Holden has been an integral part of Australian motorsport for much of the brand’s life.
Success has included 21 Australian Touring Car, Supercars Championship titles and 33 Bathurst 500/1000 victories.
Holden has been at the forefront of Australian motorsport for over six decades
The 2020 field consists of 16 Holden Commodores, including the factory-backed Red Bull Holden Racing Team entries.
“Today’s news is understandably disappointing for fans who have followed Holden’s success in Australian Touring Cars and Supercars since its debut in the 1960s,” read a Supercars statement.
“Holden has been firmly part of the heritage of our sport and has helped shape Supercars to become the sport it is today.
“The Commodore will remain on track for the 2020 championship season and we’re looking forward to seeing it alongside the Ford Mustang once again this weekend when the 2020 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship begins in Adelaide.”
Others to pay tribute include current team Walkinshaw Andretti United, which in its previous guise had carried the Holden Racing Team brand for over 25 years.
The Holden/Walkinshaw partnership delivered great success
“Our thoughts today are with the incredible men and women who make up the Holden workforce, the dealers, customers, and all Holden fans who have all been impacted by today’s news,” read a statement from WAU.
“Our team has shared a long and successful relationship with Holden in Australia for three decades.
“It’s very sad to see them leave. We are thankful for their support, and proud of what we have achieved together, including seven Bathurst 1000 victories, and six drivers championships.
“Our team and supporters have bled red for a long time, the lion and helmet will live on in our team’s history forever.”
Ford’s factory squad DJR Team Penske also declared it a sad day.
“We are saddened by Holden’s closure announcement,” read a post by the team on social media.
“Holden was always a fierce rival. A great Aussie brand coming to an end is sad for our country, no matter your allegiance.
“We feel for those affected, and look forward to continued strong competition on the track.”
Holden had last year announced a two-year extension of its Red Bull HRT deal, taking the current program through until the end of 2021.
In a Q&A on the Holden Facebook page following today’s announcement, the company said it is still working through its motorsport commitments.
“We will begin discussions with the organisers of Supercars and Red Bull Holden Racing Team,” it read.
“We will update you on these discussions at the appropriate time.”
The Red Bull HRT later added a brief statement to its social media channels.
“We’re incredibly saddened for all Holden employees, dealers and fans and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time,” it read.
“We’ll update Red Bull Holden Racing Team and Supercars fans with our future plans in due course, but right now we’re supporting our friends and colleagues at Holden.”
Supercars is currently working through its Gen3 rule set due for debut in 2022, designed to introduce new manufacturers into the sport.