Holden’s official factory V8 Supercars team, the Holden Racing Team, will proudly fly the Australian flag at this weekend’s historic Austin 400.
The V8 Supercars Championship makes its US debut at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, on May 17-19.
HRT’s new VF Commodores, driven by V8 Supercars Champions Garth Tander and James Courtney, will display the distinctive Aussie flag on their rear quarter panels and roofs.
The flag is comprised of the Union Jack, which acknowledges Australia’s historical link with Britain, the seven-pointed Commonwealth Star, which represents Australia’s federal system of government, and the Southern Cross, a constellation of stars only visible in the Southern Hemisphere, all on a blue panel.
HRT’s livery design highlights the VF Commodore, which will be built by Holden Vehicle Operations in Adelaide, as being the basis for Holden’s new export program with the car to be badged and sold as the Chevrolet SS in the US later this year.
“V8 Supercars’ first visit to the US is an exciting time for HRT in being able to showcase Holden’s new VF Commodore to the market where it will soon go on sale badged as a Chevy,” Tander said.
“The people at [Holden head office] Fishermans Bend are very proud of exporting a rear-wheel-drive V8 performance sedan to America – the home of muscle cars.
“As Holden’s factory race team, we’re also proud to wave the Aussie flag and show what truly world class cars Holden is manufacturing in Australia.”
GM Holden Motorsport and Sponsorship Manager Simon McNamara said HRT’s new livery for Texas provided an ideal opportunity to highlight VF Commodore as Australian-designed, engineered and made.
“Commodore has built an incredible heritage in its 35 years while HRT is the sport’s most successful team,” McNamara said.
“We are extremely proud of new VF Commodore; it’s a world class car with world-leading technology and amazing performance credentials, which has opened up new export opportunities for Australia.
“So, with V8’s first trip to the US we couldn’t think of a better time to stamp the Holden Racing Team’s VF Commodores as ‘proudly Aussie-made’.”
Holden’s Commodore is the Australian Touring Car/V8 Supercars Championship’s most successful nameplate with a record 383 race wins and 22 Bathurst titles, and 12 driver’s championships.
The recently superseded VE Commodore won a series record 103 races, while VF has already recorded 11 wins and 11 pole positions in just 12 races since its debut at the beginning of this season.
While this is V8 Supercars' first foray into North America, Commodore’s record in international events is already outstanding.
It won the first-ever round of the World Touring Car Championship, held at Monza, Italy, in 1987.
Commodore has also won 43 of the 57 V8SC races held on foreign soil since the series’ first international championship event was held in New Zealand in 2001, and taken pole position 21 of 33 times.
It has also already experienced success competing as the Chevy SS in America’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, taking pole and winning on debut at the world famous Daytona 500 in February.
With 200 all-time wins, HRT is the most successful team in ATCC/V8SC history, while the Holden factory team is also the only team in V8SC history to record wins in Australia, New Zealand, China, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
Tander himself is no stranger to success on the international stage, with victories in Bahrain and New Zealand, but the 2007 V8 Champion says a win in America would highlight his overseas achievements.
“Holden and HRT have done a lot of winning at international events, but to win the first race on American soil would be very cool to have on the CV – it’s what every V8 driver is hoping to achieve this weekend,” Tander said.
“It’s a level playing field although a few guys have been over there doing promotional stuff – James has done some laps around the track so I’ll try and pick his brain.
“We’ve got plenty of time on Friday to learn the circuit and get the car set up so everyone has the same opportunity, and it’ll be exciting to see who gets their head around the venue fastest.”
A total of 15 VF Commodores will line up for the Austin 400 in Texas, with Practice beginning Friday (US time).
The Seven Network’s 7mate digital channel will carry all the weekend’s races live on Sunday and Monday mornings (Australian time).