Holden reaffirms cash commitment to HRT - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Holden reaffirms cash commitment to HRT

By Guy Hand 31/07/2009 03:16:59 PM Comments (0)

Holden will continue its financial backing of the Holden Racing Team until at least 2012, but questions remain over what level of funding the company's other V8 Supercar teams will receive from next year.

Despite the global financial crisis and its parent company General Motors' problems, Holden has signed a deal extending its financial commitment to Garth Tander and Will Davison's team for a further three seasons.

The stunning defection of the sport's pacesetting Team Vodafone to Holden from Ford this week prompted Friday's announcement to allay any fears HRT's funding could suffer.

The Team Vodafone move - which brings defending champion Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes to Holden - gives the company the two best-known V8 Supercar teams under its umbrella.

But the future remains less clear for Holden's other V8 teams.

Their level of funding would appear threatened with the big dollars earmarked for HRT and Team Vodafone.

Holden's chairman-in-waiting Alan Batey played down any suggestion the company would cut funding elsewhere along pit lane.

But he warned the sport and its teams needed to continue the policy of bringing money in from other sources rather than just relying on manufacturers to foot the bills.

"Pit lane is more than the two teams we've been talking about this week, and we really try and facilitate that they (other teams) get the support they require whether that's parts or materials," Batey told AAP.

"This is a very competitive series, it's more than just two or three teams, and we'll continue to make sure that we're there to support and be there for all our teams.

"The sport cannot just rely on marketing support dollars from Holden and Ford.

"We cannot be the only sponsor in the sport. We are absolutely committed to it, but as the sport develops ... more companies will be interested in sponsoring them and that's what it's all about."

Ford last year pulled funding from several of its teams to channel all its sponsorship dollars into just two outfits - Ford Performance Racing and Stone Brothers Racing.

Batey takes over the reins at Holden on September 1 from current boss Mark Reuss, who will become GM's head of global engineering.

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