GRM to skip shakedown for new Holdens

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 14/02/2017
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus

Garry Rogers Motorsport’s new Holden Commodores will turn their first laps at Sydney Motorsport Park’s full-field test on February 21.

The team is on track to launch its 2017 campaign tomorrow (Thursday), revealing the war paint that the two Wilson Security sponsored entries will take into the season.

GRM has endured a busy two months constructing the Commodores following its highly publicised split with Volvo.

Already building two Holdens for the Dunlop Super2 Series, the decision was made to push the button on another two cars following a mediation session with Volvo on December 13. 

Until that point, GRM had held out hope that it would be granted permission by Volvo to continue with the Swedish engine package inside its S60-bodied cars. 

The February 21 test looms as a crucial day for GRM drivers Garth Tander and James Moffat as it will be their only run in the Holdens before the season opening Clipsal 500. 

Although shakedowns are usually undertaken to iron out any systems issues with new cars, GRM director Barry Rogers is unconcerned by the lack of time for extra running. 

“We might be chasing our tail a bit up there (in Sydney), but I think we’ll be pretty right when we roll the cars out,” Rogers told Supercars.com. 

“I don’t think doing an extra 10 or 20 laps at Winton before Sydney would make much difference to us in the scheme of things.

“We had pretty competitive Holdens in 2013 and we’re confident with what we can do. 

“The vast majority of the car, including uprights, anti-rollbars and all of that, goes straight out of the Volvo and into the Holden. We’re certainly not starting from scratch. 

“In terms of performance, we’re probably fortunate with the tyre construction change as well.

“We’re behind the eight-ball on development with the other Holden teams but that will make it more of an even playing field.”

As previously reported, the GRM Commodores will run engines supplied by Walkinshaw Racing, rekindling a partnership that was in place prior to the Volvo switch in 2014.

Rogers expressed gratitude towards both Walkinshaw and Dragon Motor Racing’s Tony Klein for their help with the switch of manufacturers.

Klein, who campaigns two ex-GRM Holdens in the Dunlop Super2 Series, sold his spare chassis back to the main series squad in order to ease the transition.

“We’d built up another chassis midway through last year for Tony that was sitting in storage at one of his factories,” explained Rogers.

“It hadn’t been touched and we were able to buy that back off him, which was good of him to do because it obviously saved time for us." 

GRM proved the best-of-the-rest last season as Scott McLaughlin finished third behind Red Bull duo Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup in the championship. 

Despite the off-season upheaval that has also included the exit of McLaughlin, Rogers is confident of a strong year.

“I think all the ingredients are there in terms of our engineering base, our drivers and the engines,” he said. 

“I said to the guys that we’ve got a bit of a point to prove this year. 

“Everyone has that little bit of incentive to give that extra one or two percent.”

GRM will also confirm its co-driver roster at tomorrow's launch, which the public are encouraged to attend.

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