Holden Motorsport jolted with key departures

Gordon Lomas

Friday 20th January, 2017 - 3:35pm

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The immediate future of the next generation Holden Supercar remains under a cloud as the company’s motorsport department has been decimated with key personnel being cut from the payroll.

Simon McNamara, who has successfully served as Holden’s high profile motorsport and sponsorship head and long standing technical chief Peter Harker are set to leave their posts.

While no communique has yet to be released by Holden, Speedcafe.com has learned that the departures effectively dismantle the manufacturer’s motorsport arm.

It is also unclear as to who, if anyone, within GM Holden will replace the pair who both occupied critical motorsport-specific roles.

“As Holden Motorsport’s media contact I’m seeking clarification and a response from Holden management,” Gerald McDornan told Speedcafe.com.

Removing McNamara and Harker provides a major obstacle for newly appointed official factory squad, Red Bull Holden Racing Team.

The pair provided vital links between the company and the motorsport operations with teams as Harker was a key conduit to the engine program.

Harker officially informed Supercars teams in an email this week that he would no longer be involved.

As Supercars moves toward the Gen 2 regulations, Harker was playing a critical role in the development of a V6 twin turbo engine set to be introduced in 2018.

The Red Bull Holden Racing Team has just unveiled its 2017 Commodores for defending champion Shane van Gisbergen and Jamie Whincup with the launch event ironically at Holden’s Salmon Street headquarters in Melbourne.

Curiously, that polished launch did not get a mention through the car company’s key social media accounts.

The Brisbane squad have exclusive rights to build the next generation Commodore racecar after signing a three-year deal as the manufacturer’s official factory team.

Speedcafe.com has been established to provide a daily motorsport news service to the industry and fans in Australia and internationally.

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