McLaughlin ‘nervous’ about Supercars after Holden exit

Scott McLaughlin

Scott McLaughlin says he is ‘nervous’ about the implications for the Supercars Championship of General Motors’ decision to close Holden.

GM’s call to cease Holden sales by the end of the year has created uncertainty as to what existing Holden teams might race next year.

However, it also marks the final chapter in a rivalry between the lion and Ford which was once effectively mandated as the backbone of the Australian Touring Car Championship.

Although rivalries are now defined less so by brands than they were, and more so by teams or drivers, the red versus blue divide persists, a point made by McLaughlin.

Asked on his Balls & Bumpers podcast if he was ‘sad’ about the Holden news, the man who currently drives a Ford Mustang for the Shell V-Power Racing Team said, “Very sad but also nervous for the sport I think. It’s a big deal

“It’s a 50- to 60-year rivalry, Holden versus Ford, that’s been around since we were all kids.

“You either grow up red or blue and we’re going to effectively lose that from next year; like, Holden’s gone.

“It’s not like they’re just running around still Holdens. You can’t really support it; it’s just null and void.”

Holden also still holds the weight of numbers in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, with exactly two thirds of this year’s 24-car field being ZB Commodores.

Speaking in the days following the Holden announcement, Supercars CEO Sean Seamer suggested that some aspects of the Gen3 ruleset, which has most recently been scheduled for 2022 introduction, could be brought forward.

“The sport have got to do big, big, big, big, big work and plan what they need to do,” added McLaughlin.

“I personally think… Are they behind? Should we have done this Gen3 earlier? Maybe; I’m not sure.

“It just feels like, as the Commodore was ceasing production, right-hand drive cars were ceasing production, the writing was on the wall in some ways, right?

“Were we not proactive enough? I’m not sure.

“It’s a nervous time for the category and I just hope something gets sorted.”

One option for current Holden teams could be to continue to run the ZB Commodore next year, in a manner similar to the case when Ford ceased production of the roadgoing FGX Falcon in 2016.

McLaughlin lent his backing to the opinion that another GM product in the Chevrolet Camaro would be a welcome addition to Supercars following the demise of the Australian brand.

“I ideally would love to see the Camaro join,” he declared.

“I think that’s an ideal scenario for Supercars with the Mustang and Camaro going up against each other, but it remains to be seen.

“I’d hate to be in their shoes at the moment.”

McLaughlin leads the championship after a second placing and a race win at the season-opening Superloop Adelaide 500.

The Supercars field next moves to Albert Park for the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 on March 12-15.

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