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Holden stays in Supercars for now

Still going: Holden will remain a familiar sight in Australian Supercars racing for at least two more seasons – and maybe beyond that.

Commodore to race on for two years – and Holden might stay beyond 2021

11 Dec 2019

HOLDEN has committed to at least two more years of Supercars racing, despite its decision to discontinue the Commodore in its showrooms from next year.

 

The company signed a two-year contract with Red Bull Holden Racing in July that locks Holden in until the end of 2021.

 

But Holden has not ruled out continuing beyond that date with another vehicle.

 

The car-maker issued a statement outlining this position, saying: “Racing is a strong part of Holden’s brand identity and we will assess our options as Supercars continues to evolve its rules for the next generation of cars currently due to be introduced in 2022.”

 

A Holden insider told GoAuto that the company had been engaged with Supercars – Australia’s premium motor racing category – as it formulates the new Generation 3 architecture.

 

Slow sales of the Commodore and the market switch from regular passenger cars to SUVs and utes has doomed the once-popular large sedan and wagon.

 

Holden discontinued supply from the German factory some time ago, and it now running out large quantities of accumulated stock. The Holden Astra is also in run-out.

 

Australia’s home-grown Supercars competition has been largely based on the Ford-Holden rivalry since the 1960s, and for many fans, not having a bunch of Holdens on the grid is unthinkable.

 

With Holden switching to an all-SUV and ute line-up, the most likely possibility for Holden racing after Commodore is the Chevrolet Camaro which is imported by Walkinshaw Automotive and converted to right hand-hand drive at its factory in Victoria.

 

While the arrangement is not strictly Holden, it would at least be General Motors.

 

This would fit with Ford’s Mustang in a coupe-versus-coupe battle that most fans would find suitably satisfying.

 

The Chevrolet Corvette that Holden will distribute in Australia from the end of next year could be a possibility, although the new-generation C8 version has morphed into a mid-engine supercar that might not have the mainstream cache usually associated with Supercars.

 

Next season, the Nissan Altimas raced by Kelly Racing disappear from the field, following the Volvo S60s and Ford Falcons of previous years into racing history.

 

That leaves the Commodore and the Mustang, with all teams fielding one or the other.

 

The Commodore has competed in tin-top racing in Australia since the outset when the first Commodore, the VB, landed in showrooms.

 

With Holden shoehorning a 5.0-litre V8 into the Opel-engineered body, the stage was set for the ‘big banger’ Holden touring cars that dominated the track at the hands of Peter Brock, Allan Grice and others.

 

To date, Holden has won a record 26 Bathurst 1000s.


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