In a devastating blow, Ford will be exiting from the V8 Supercars in 2015 according to senior officials in the championship, ending the age-old Holden-Ford battle of the Australian touring car landscape.
In what has been described as a disaster for the sport, there have been pleas from V8 Supercars legend Dick Johnson to reconsider their decision to stop an emotional out pouring from fans.
“I’m not sure what fans would do but some would just leave,” Johnson said.
John’s eponymous team and the four-car Ford Performance Racing stable (which includes two single-car satellite entries) are the only two Ford outfits left on the grid; Johnson’s team has not had official factory support since 2008.
“Ford means so much too so many people,’” Johnson said in the paddock at the Mount Panorama circuit.
“And I don’t think some realize just how much. I can’t tell you how many loyal and passionate fans I have met in my life but I can tell your there are thousands of them. They love this sport and they love Ford, and they both go together.
“I can even comprehend what they would do if they left the sport. I really don’t even won’t to think about it. For some of these people, it is their life. They have grown up with both Ford and this sport. Ford has been here since day one and I can imagine what life would be life without them. It would certainly leave a huge a void.”
Johnson – whose racing career was famously saved by Ford after a career-threatening crash on the mountain in 1981 – said the V8 Supercars Championship should still be important to Ford.
Holden has already signed a deal to continue their factory support into the future, despite their manufacturing ceasing in Australia in two years’ time. At the moment negotiations are continuing, but Ford fans – as well as DJR and FPR – can only hope that Ford will reconsider their looming departure.
Image via Christian Hartung