The partnership was announced at a Sydney Holden dealer this week, coinciding with a second announcement from Holden outlining a new fleet deal with the Red Bull company.
Holden Motorsport Manager, Simon McNamara, said the Red Bull outfit was the sport’s benchmark team, with driver Jamie Whincup claiming five championship titles in six years.
“Holden is proud to extend its championship-winning partnership with Red Bull Racing Australia,” McNamara said.
“Red Bull Racing Australia is the sport’s benchmark team, and together we have already achieved great success on and off-track. They played a pivotal role in the development of the new-generation VF Commodore last year, while a number of business-to-business deals have seen our partnership grow.”
While neither party has revealed the duration of the new deal, Holden is now tipped to remain involved in V8 Supercars until at least 2017, when the carmaker plans to cease building cars in Australia.
HRT Future Unclear
Meanwhile, a similar deal with the ‘official’ factory outfit – the Holden Racing Team (HRT) – hangs in the balance beyond 2014, with Holden yet to make an announcement on future backing for the team.
While Holden is rumoured to be somewhat underwhelmed with HRT’s on-track performance in recent years, the team could be offered a similar deal to that of its Red Bull rivals, and an announcement is expected to be made soon.
V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton said he hopes rivals Ford will also commit to a long-term program for the racing category, in light of this week’s Red Bull/Holden deal.
“A decision on the future is premature at this stage but we see little reason why they would not continue to support their fans,’’ Warburton said.
“We have developed good working relationships with all existing manufacturers and have constant, open and transparent dialogue whether it is in regards to parity or around the business and the opportunities for the brands to use our platform."
"In addition, we are also actively talking to a number of non-participating brands in relation to the next phase of our future.”
HRT drivers James Courtney and Garth Tander currently sit fourth and 14th in the championship standings respectively, with Tander’s contract up for renewal at the end of this season.
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