Photo: Supercars

Jamie Whincup: “Supercars has to evolve”

Multiple champion Jamie Whincup says it is important for Supercars to evolve to ensure a long and successful future without Holden following the news earlier this week that parent company General Motors is to retire the famous brand.

The shock announcement has raised question marks over the future of the current ZB Commodore in the series, with no fewer than 16 drivers on the 24 car grid this season being at the wheel of the car.

Triple Eight boss Roland Dane has already revealed that he will sit down with GM officials this week to discuss what comes next for the factory-backed Red Bull Holden Racing Team and Whincup – who has won five of his seven titles in Holden colours – admitted that it was important for the series to evolve to deal with the loss of the manufacturer.

“There is a lot of emotion involved because of all the history,” he said following a special photoshoot with the rest of the Holden drivers. “Holden have been a power house for a lot of year, and were the biggest automotive brand in the country. To see the decision made and it come to an end – the world keeps moving forwards and even if we don’t always like it, we have to evolve and make sure that Supercars has a long future with or without Holden.”

Whincup also admitted that his thoughts were with those affected by GM’s announcement and vowed that he and the team would be fighting hard to fly the Holden flag on track throughout 2020.

“Of course we think about Supercars and race teams, but our thoughts are with those who have lost their jobs, and those in sales teams around the country who have not only lost their jobs, but who have lost a brand they love. It’s been a tough few days and it’s all I’ve been thinking about, but we are here to do a job and represent Holden in what I feel is the best race car in the country.

“We don’t need more motivation and are pumped about what we need to do this weekend [in Adelaide] and as a sport and a team, we’ll evolve. We have to keep looking forwards, but our thoughts are with those at Holden at the moment.”

Defending series champion Scott McLaughlin, who made his Supercars debut at the wheel of a VE Commodore before switching to Volvo and then Ford, also reflected on the news and insisted he was interested to see what would now happen for main rivals Triple Eight going forwards.

“It’s sad news,” he reflected. “I started my career in a Holden and like a number of Australians, it has been a big name for the sport, and also for people growing up and their livelihoods. Supercars will find a way around it and I’m sure that Roland and his team will as well.

“They will already have a lot of emotion from last year and they’ll want to send Holden out on a high, and we are ready for that. It will be interesting to see what they do.”