'We will miss you': Motorsport world reacts to bombshell Holden retirement

Riley Morgan
Sports Reporter

The Australian motorsport community has shown their shock and disbelief after Holden parent company General Motors announced it was retiring the automotive brand.

Holden refused to commit to remaining part of the Supercars championship beyond 2020 after the huge news on Monday afternoon.

GM's decision to scrap the brand in Australia and New Zealand by next year dropped a bomb on Supercars officials and teams just days out from the season opening Adelaide 500.

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Holden has been a part of Australian touring car racing since the 1960s, with iconic names such as Peter Brock, Craig Lowndes, Mark Skaife and Jamie Whincup becoming synonymous with the Red Lion.

"Today's news is understandably disappointing for fans who have followed Holden's success in Australian Touring Cars and Supercars since its debut in the 1960s," Supercars said in a statement.

Ex-factory team Walkinshaw Andretti United, who were Holden's factory team for 27 years from 1990, expressed their sadness at Monday's news.

"Our team has shared a long and successful relationship with Holden in Australia for three decades," the statement read.

"It's very sad to see them leave. We are thankful for their support, and proud of what we have achieved together, including seven Bathurst 1000 victories, and six driver championships."

It was only fitting Ford - one of Holden’s greatest rivalries - led the tributes for Holden.

2016 Supercars champion Shane Van Gisberg and former champ Garth Tander also expressed their sadness at the news.

Supercars uncertainty

While Holden said it would fulfil its commitment to the championship this year, it was less certain about having a presence in Australian motorsport into the future.

That is despite its partnership with Triple Eight Race Engineering through the Red Bull Holden Racing Team being set to run until the end of the 2021 championship.

Seven other Supercars teams are also set to race Holden Commodores in 2020.

Red Bull Holden Racing Team driver Jamie Whincup celebrates winning Race 26 and the Supercars Championship back in 2017. (AAP)

Urgent discussions between Holden, Supercars and Triple Eight are expected to be held in the next few days.

"Our intention is still to go racing in 2020 whilst we've still got Holden vehicles out there in dealer showrooms," Holden's interim chairman and managing director Kristian Aquilina said.

"To the extent, about GM and its involvement in racing beyond that, that will be part of the same conversation.”

With AAP