McNamara confirms Holden departure

Speedcafe.com

Friday 10th February, 2017 - 6:35pm

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Simon McNamara

Holden Motorsport boss Simon McNamara has confirmed his exit from the company after 22 years of service.

News of McNamara’s departure first emerged last month with the head of the brand’s sponsorship and motorsport programs set to leave the firm alongside technical manager Peter Harker.

During his reign McNamara oversaw a dominant period for Holden with championship victories in six of the last 10 seasons.

Passionate about Holden’s involvement in the sport, one of his final acts was to convince the firm to remain in the sport by signing a new three-year factory deal with Triple Eight.

The arrangement saw Holden become only the second manufacturer to commit to the Gen2 regulations from 2018.

McNamara issued a statement via his social media channels reflecting on his time at Holden.

“After 22 fantastic years at Holden, the time has come for me to look for new challenges, and I would like to advise you all that I left my position as Holden Manager of Sponsorship and Motorsport last Friday, 3 February,” read a post on Instagram.

“I am extremely proud of what we have been able to achieve together, most notably experiencing the most successful period in Holden’s long motor racing history.

“I am also proud to have secured Triple Eight Racing Engineering for Holden, with it dominating Supercars in the past seven years and recently being awarded official factory racing team status, and returning Holden to the AFL by successfully parting with the mighty Collingwood Football Club.”

Supercars CEO James Warburton praised McNamara for his support of the category and for his role in helping Holden recommit to the series.

“For me, it’s been a relatively new relationship, but in the early stages of coming into Supercars, Simon was a fantastic help in terms of his ideas and his guidance in terms of what he thought was fantastic about the sport and what he wanted to see improved,” Warburton told Supercars.com.

“The great thing I appreciate about Simon is unless he’s winning, he’s one of the grumpiest people I’ve ever met in my life. He’s got that strong competitive instinct, he is a great hater in the heat of battle and coming from the media industry I’ve always enjoyed that about him.

“You’ve got to respect his record over the years and obviously he’s extremely well regarded by the team owners that have worked with him and a huge amount of drivers.

“He supported all teams, not just the official factory teams, at any one time. He’ll be missed but I don’t think he’ll be a stranger to the paddock.

“In terms of legacy, he was extremely influential with Holden for Gen2 through the global channels and committing to it. That’s a big part of his legacy.”

Supercars veteran Russell Ingall was among those to pay tribute to McNamara.

“Dedication & passion undeniable. Helped many teams and drivers survive in this sport & keep Holden in the game. Cheers @SMcHoldenMsport,” tweeted Ingall.

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