The Future of HSV in Doubt After Holden Drops Walkinshaw

It’s the end of another era in Australia, Holden just announced they will end a 26-year relationship with Walkinshaw Racing as the brand’s official factory squad in Australia’s Supercar Championship.

The Red Bull-backed Triple Eight Race Engineering team will pick up the slack as the de facto Holden Racing Team.

Holden has already promised to take the new Commie racing for the 2018 season and for the first time, Triple Eight will develop that car–likely using a hot twin-turbo V6.

“After fielding Holden’s official factory team for 26 years we are naturally disappointed but respect Holden’s decision,’’ Walkinshaw said. “While our official motorsport partnership may have ended, our relationship with Holden remains strong and we continue to work closely on future road vehicles in line with our HSV (Holden Special Vehicles) business.’’

But with performance versions of the next-gen Commie expected to be house made, even HSV could be at risk. Holden managing director Mark Bernhard wouldn’t directly comment on the impact to HSV’s future, but the writing’s on the wall. “Nothing specific to talk about today. We continue to work with HSV on vehicles.”

“We’ll also continue to help Walkinshaw wherever we can. We support every Holden team in pit lane through various avenues such as marketing support, technical support, sponsorship acquisition, even down to helping design certain race liveries. We’ll continue that with Walkinshaw and I wish them all the best. Our relationship with Walkinshaw remains strong and we are working closely on future road vehicle initiatives as part of our ongoing HSV relationship.”

But HSV hasn’t made a commitment beyond the end of local Commodore production and Walkinshaw is already attempting to diversify its product offerings, establishing American Special Vehicles which will convert Ram 1500 pickups to right-hand drive. The company has also expressed interest in SUVs.

It’s understood Walkinshaw has already begun making overtures towards Toyota in a bid to remain competitive on track, which could have even bigger implications on the street.

 

 

 

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