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Dane: End of Commodore will be a sad day

Tom Howard

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Tuesday 10th December, 2019 - 6:49pm

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Red Bull Holden Racing Team boss Roland Dane

Triple Eight boss Roland Dane says it will be a sad day when the Commodore nameplate eventually disappears but is proud to have contributed to the model’s motorsport success.

Holden has today confirmed that it will axe the Commodore from its showrooms, electing to focus on SUVs and light commercial vehicles moving forward.

The marque has confirmed the Commodore will live on in Supercars through to the end of 2021 at least.

Dane’s operation has run as the factory Holden team since 2017 while becoming the homologation team for the brand that saw it develop the current ZB Commodore Supercar.

Triple Eight has run Commodores in Supercars since switching from Ford to Holden in 2010 and has enjoyed immense success with the nameplate.

Since adopting Commodores, the team has claimed six drivers’ titles, eight teams’ crowns and four Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 victories.

While his team has played a small part of the Commodore’s racing success, Dane is proud of his team’s contribution and admits its loss will be a sad day in Australia’s automotive history.

“We’re part of the story, but by no means the whole story,” Dane told Speedcafe.com.

“There have been a lot of people involved in the Commodore’s race track history and success ever since the car first arrived in ’78.

“Over that sort of 40-year period plus there have been an awful lot of people involved in the success of the car.

“It will be (a sad day) when it (the Commodore) does disappear. But the world is changing, the automotive world is changing, almost faster than any other part of our daily lives at the moment.

“So with the migration to people driving SUVs and trucks and things it was going to happen sooner or later. So it’s probably happened a bit sooner than we anticipated.

“For me the GM relationship goes back pretty much 25 years, in the UK as well (racing Vauxhalls).

“It’s broader than just the Commodore, it’s something that I value and is ongoing.

“The Commodore itself, that’s a big part of Australian culture, Australian history, but things come and go and change is inevitable in the world we live in.

“There are some great memories to treasure but also some new memories to create.”

Dane says the mentality of his team will not change given the news that the Commodore has only two seasons left to run in Supercars.

“We’ll get on with our job,” he added.

Looking to the future, Holden is committed to Supercars for a further two years, and has already been engaging with the series regarding its future in the category beyond 2021, via the newly set-up manufacturer council.

However, it remains unclear what model the marque would commit to should the brand continue in the class when Supercars’ new Gen3 regulations come into play in 2022.

“They’re (Holden) probably aware of the Gen3 program and it’s up to them to comment on what vehicle will fit in with that from their portfolio going forward,” Dane added.

The ZB Commodore has just undergone Supercars’ Vehicle Control Aerodynamic Testing (VCAT) process to set the aero packages for 2020.

Triple Eight supplied a ZB Commodore that was put up against a Ford Mustang from homologation team Shell V-Power Racing and Supercars’ Falcon FGX test mule.

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