Despite being ousted as Holden’s official factory team in the Australian Supercars Championship, the Walkinshaw Racing team has affirmed its commitment to racing the marque’s Commodores in next year’s championship.
Holden announced today that it is switching its factory support from Walkinshaw Racing – which hasn’t won a title since 2002 – to championship frontrunners Triple Eight Race Engineering.
The news bring to an end Walkinshaw’s 26-year factory-backed support that has seen is claim six Drivers’ Championship titles and seven Bathurst 1000 victories.
Considering the team’s highly inconsistent form in recent years, the announcement comes as little surprise and will make the team’s chances of retaining its high-profile driver pairing of Garth Tander and James Courtney – both of whom are out of contract – all the harder.
The Victorian team, however, was quick to confirm it would continue to race two Commodores in 2017 and beyond despite the loss of Holden’s financial backing.
“Walkinshaw Racing remains committed to fielding two Commodores in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship in 2017 and beyond following today’s announcement by Holden to end its sponsorship of the team at the end of 2016,” a team statement reads.
“After fielding Holden’s official factory team for 26 years we are naturally disappointed but respect Holden’s decision,” team owner Ryan Walkinshaw added.
“We are rightly proud to have enjoyed a wonderful relationship with Holden over the years, and have enjoyed many successes together. While our official motorsport partnership may have ended, our relationship with Holden remains strong and we continue to work closely on future road vehicle initiatives in line with our HSV [Holden Special Vehicles] business.”
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