Holden out for a decision

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 02/04/2016
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Holden Sponsorship and Motorsport Manager Simon McNamara says yesterday’s 500th victory will not influence the brand’s decision about its future in V8 Supercars.

Shane van Gisbergen took a spectacular win at Symmons Plains yesterday, the milestone victory his first championship win with Red Bull Racing Australia.

Finishing ahead of his teammate Jamie Whincup and TEKNO successor Will Davison ensured Holden locked out the podium, as the brand considers its involvement in V8 Supercars beyond 2016.

“That’s a completely other discussion that’s based around the business, and what we feel is right for the business,” McNamara told v8supercars.com.

“This is a great accolade for what we’ve done, and to get to this point is fantastic, but in terms of what it means for the next step, it won’t have any bearing on it.

“That’s a whole other range of things.”

Fourteen Holdens make up the V8 Supercars field, with Holden Racing Team the official factory backed squad and Triple Eight receiving a high level of support from the manufacturer. All teams receive parts and panels as part of an arranged package with the brand.

Other participating manufacturers Volvo and Nissan are still yet to confirm partipation beyond this year, though The Daily Telegraph reported last week all three brands were expected to continue in the sport.

Achieving the milestone 500th win – 47 years on from the first, taken by Norm Beechey at Surfers Paradise – was a proud moment for McNamara.

“It means a great deal to our company, so it’s a great thing for us,” he said.  

“Racing is part of our heritage and our DNA, so to be able to do this for everybody that’s ever been involved in the company, and especially for all of the people who have been involved in our motorsport program is a massively proud achievement.”

In a way, it was fitting for van Gisbergen to take the honour given McNamara was instrumental in securing him as a Holden driver in 2013.

The quick Kiwi helped catapult TEKNO Autosports up the Championship standings, finishing second in the title race in 2014 and fourth last year, before stepping up to Red Bull, the dominant team of the last decade.

“Everybody knows Shane is a superstar in the making, and to watch him do what he has done over the last couple of rounds has been a really great thing to see,” McNamara said.

“The future is bright, with guys like Shane – and Jamie is still a kid, to be honest.

“Then there’s other guys up and down pit lane who are young people for us.

“The future as it stands is looking pretty good.

“With Gizzy in a Red Bull car, it’s quite pleasing to see.”

The win means van Gisbergen leads the championship standings by two points over Whincup, it what is looking to be an epic intra-team battle this season.

Five hundred and one today?

“Hopefully – we’ll take that!” McNamara said.

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