V8 Supercars disappointed by Ford exit

V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton with Ford Australia president Bob Graziano

V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton with Ford Australia president Bob Graziano

V8 Supercars CEO James Warburton has expressed his disappointment at Ford’s decision to withdraw all support from the category at the end of the 2015 season.

Ford has announced this afternoon that it will “provide support” to teams racing Falcons next year, but will not renew any funding for 2016.

The confirmation ends months of discussions between Ford, FPR and V8 Supercars over ways for the manufacturer to remain involved.

“Some time ago, we called on Ford to clarify their position for 2016 – which they have now done,” said Warburton in a statement.

“Clearly we are disappointed in their decision to cease financial support for FPR beyond 2015.

“(We are) disappointed for the fans who have so passionately supported the brand for so many years (and) disappointed for the team, drivers and other partners who have worked so hard for the Ford brand.

“We understand things are tough at Ford at the moment, but were hopeful they would continue to see the enormous brand value our sport has to them, not to mention decades of Blue Oval racing heritage – particularly at a time when we are growing so strongly.

“The good news for our fans is that there will still be six Falcons on the grid in 2015. With many of our teams being privateers, with no factory support, we are confident that there will be Fords on the grid in 2016 and beyond.

“In any case, we look forward to welcoming Ford back to our sport at some time in the future.”

Holden, Nissan and Volvo are all committed to V8 Supercars for the next two seasons, while Erebus is yet to confirm a continuation of its customer agreement with Mercedes-AMG.

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