Author Topic: Team Vodafone Switches To Holden for 2010  (Read 859 times)

[SJ]mpm_fan

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Team Vodafone Switches To Holden for 2010
« on: July 29, 2009, 08:54:53 am »

Team Vodafone Switches To Holden

TeamVodafone’s decision to run Holden Commodores next year will tip the balance of the V8 Supercar field to two thirds red versus one third blue.

While Holden fans are rejoicing at the thought of Craig Lowndes returning to the Holden fold, Ford fans are bracing for a Holden onslaught next year with the news that Lowndes and reigning champ Jamie Whincup will drive Commodores from 2010.

The news was made official at Holden’s premises at Port Melbourne today (Wednesday).

With TeamVodafone Principle Roland Dane in the passenger seat, Whincup drove an SS Commodore featuring Vodafone stickers into the Holden showroom as part of the announcement.

Despite winning the driver and team championships along with a third straight Bathurst win, TeamVodafone lost its sponsorship from Ford at the end of last year.

This year the team has run FG Falcons, but with no Ford branding on them and the team officially recognises the #1 and #888 cars as ‘Hogsters’.

Lowndes, who left the Holden stable to drive for Ford-backed 00 Motorsport in 2001 and still has a personal contract with Ford until the end of this year, did not attend today’s announcement.

Dane said that, like Lowndes and Whincup – who last drove for Holden in 2005 – it felt like he was returning home.

“There’s big connections for Triple Eight and General Motors that goes back to 1996 when along with Ian Harrison and Derek Warwick I did the deal with Vauxhall Motors, which is part of GM Europe, and that’s a relationship that’s worked well for many years and won lots of championships, so for me, this is also coming home,” he said.

TeamVodafone’s move will see 20 Holden Commodores line up against a paltry 10 Ford Falcons on the V8 Supercar grid.

Alan Batey, who takes up his position as Holden’s new Chairman and Managing Director on September 1, said while the global financial crises had impacted on Holden, the company was still fully committed to motorsport.

“We’ve had to take some tough decisions… however we will not, and I repeat, we will not turn our back on our heritage and all of the things that have made Holden great,” he said.

“Motorsport is and will always remain an important part of our DNA and our involvement goes back over 40 years.

“Today we are making the biggest and the clearest statement we can on how much we at Holden, everyone here, values winning and maximising the power of the Holden brand.”

The new partnership with Triple Eight and Holden could hold ominous news for Jim Beam Racing and Wilson Security Racing, which are not Ford-backed teams but run Triple Eight-built FGs.

“We already supply parts and components to every team in the Championship apart from two,” Dane countered.

“We supply HRT with parts now so that’s a part of our engineering business and that will continue to supply parts. Our development hours and efforts will be into Holden.”

Dane and his team look forward to the challenge of producing competitive Commodores straight away.

“For us part of the attraction of this deal is the challenge to show that hopefully we can produce a competitive package straight away next year,” Dane said.

“It’s another challenge and certainly from a technical point of view with the technical team I have got in Brisbane it was something they were very gung-ho about when I first brought it up with the lead guys there.”

But Holden Racing Team diehards should not get wound up at the thought of their team playing second fiddle to TeamVodafone.

“HRT is our factory operation; we’re a supporter of TeamVodafone,” Holden Motorsport Manager, Simon McNamara, stressed.

“At the end of the day we want a Commodore to win races, but HRT is our factory operation.”

McNamara would not say whether Holden will now pare back its support of other teams like Kelly Racing and Supercheap Auto Racing.

“That is yet to be determined,” he said.

“We wanted to lock this away as early as we could and the rest of it goes down the path of further discussions.”

[SJ]Andrew Dawes

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Re: Team Vodafone Switches To Holden for 2010
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2009, 10:59:05 am »
Thanks for the news.
Gotta say i support them in this.  Ford pulled sponsorship of the winning car and still expect to get the kudos that Ford is winning.  I'm a ford fan but i would've done the same thing if i were them.

So now i have to re-assess whether i'm a ford fan or a holden fan i guess.

[SJ]Mozza

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Re: Team Vodafone Switches To Holden for 2010
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2009, 11:11:45 am »
I think it's time for a change in the rules to allow other manufacturers in.
If there is only gonna be 10 Falcons, then... well... it's already boring enough.
May as well go and watch a one make series, at least the cars are close to show room, so they slide around alot more.

Maybe it's time CAMS put more effort into advertising the production car championship. I'm sure there would be alot of manufacturers that would be interested in that kinda racing...