The idea of Holden withdrawing its support for the Holden Racing Team seemed extreme when it was first floated recently – but now it’s all set in stone – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em as they say. From 2017, the Triple Eight Engineering Red Bull Racing Team will be known as the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.
The partnership was confirmed today on the Red Bull Racing Australia website:
Triple Eight Race Engineering is excited to welcome Holden on board as joint naming rights sponsor from 2017. Holden will join our long-term title partner, Red Bull, from next season, when we’ll be hitting the track as the Red Bull Holden Racing Team.
In a new three-year partnership with Triple Eight, Holden has confirmed the extension of its longstanding involvement with the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, which will see us develop, build and race the next-generation Commodore out of our Brisbane facility from 2018.
Having clocked up our 100th race victory for Holden at the Ipswich SuperSprint last month, the squad is looking forward to a getting another century of wins in the bag for the iconic manufacturer over the coming years.
It’s a huge deal. Walkinshaw Racing who operate the Holden Racing Team have said they will still commit two vehicles to the 2017 series, but losing the big brand “Holden Racing Team” will be a huge blow to them – merchandise revenue will be lower almost immediately.
The Triple Eight Team have dominated the sport in so many ways in recent years, so from a business perspective it makes perfect sense at the Supercar Level, though one wonders how things will be at the board-room of Holden Special Vehicles, the road-car performance arm that itself is a partnership between Holden and Walkinshaw.
That said, it’s a big deal for Holden – they are ending local manufacturing, and the new Commodore in 2018 will be a rebadged Opel, and Red Bull Holden Racing Team have confirmed they will design and engineer the Supercar variant of that road car.
With Ford leaving town, Holden Leaving town it’s been a worry for the V8 Series. Volvo have exited the series, Nissan is on a knifes edge and frankly more likely to leave than to stay, and from next year non V8 powerplants are accepted. Interesting times ahead.