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Holden shuns celebrity race

One-horse race: Ford's 2.0-litre Laser SR2 will be the sole vehicle used for the celebrity race at Adelaide's Clipsal 500 meeting.

Holden has pulled out of a proposed match-up with Ford in the celebrity race at the Clipsal 500

19 Mar 2001

A PROPOSED Holden Astra versus Ford Laser match-up in the celebrity race at the Clipsal 500 meeting in Adelaide has been called off with both manufacturers laying the blame on the other.

Ford has now taken up the rights to the race solely, using it to promote the launch of the new 2.0-litre Laser.

And that's the crux of the issue, Holden refusing to put the 1.8-litre Astra up against the larger capacity car.

Holden claims the original discussions were based on 1.8-litre Lasers going up against the Astra.

"We can understand them wanting to promote their new model, but that no longer presents a level playing field," Holden motorsport manager John Stevenson said.

"Even with the varying driver skill levels, we have no interest in seeing eight Astras trail home eight Lasers." But Ford says the intention was always to race the new 2.0-litre SR2 version.

"The agreement was always that we would run 2.0-litre Lasers," Ford president Geoff Polites said.

"It was always about a launch opportunity to get some exposure for the 2.0-litre Laser." With the 2.0-litre Astra due out in the second half of this year, it's possible the Holden/Ford hatchback grudge-match may be rescheduled for the 2002 season.

The Lasers will be painted in Ford's motorsport livery, matching their Falcon V8 Supercar siblings.

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