Tander: Adelaide finale a fitting farewell for Holden

Garth Tander won both races at the 2010 Adelaide 500. Picture: Mark Horsburgh

When the chequered flag falls on the final race of this year’s Repco Supercars Championship season, it’ll mark an end of an era for the category.

As it stands, Race 34 will be the final time the championship features the red lion.

It’s rather fitting then that the last race for Holden will be on the streets of Adelaide, the home of the iconic Australian-made brand.

General Motors’ announcement that it would be pulling out of right-hand-drive markets, which subsequently brought about the demise of Holden, came on the eve of the 2020 Adelaide 500.

That sent shockwaves through the motoring world, not least Supercars which has for the longest time been underpinned by red versus blue.

For former Holden Racing Team star Garth Tander, the return of the famed street event at the end of this year presents an opportunity for fans to savour.

“I think that’s a nice story,” Tander told Speedcafe.com.

“Obviously having had all the planets align with Adelaide coming back on the result of the election there – and given the final level of the Commodore production line was Elizabeth just up the road – it’s quite fitting.

“I think Adelaide in its own right being the conclusion to the championship would be a big deal anyway, but there’s going to be lots of storylines attached to that and the Holden storyline is a one that I know a lot of very proud South Australians would be touched by.”

The COVID-19 pandemic ultimately put a dampener on plans to celebrate, or indeed commemorate, the brand in 2020.

The then-factory-backed Holden team, Triple Eight Race Engineering, had to abandon most of the promotional activities it had planned throughout the year.

In the end, the team sent off Holden with a revised livery at the season-ending Bathurst 1000 in 2020, duly winning the race with Tander and team-mate Shane van Gisbergen.

By and large, Holden’s presence in the motoring landscape has begun to fade, replaced by General Motors Specialty Vehicles.

Whether Holden will get a proper send-off in Adelaide remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the synergy is one which Tander said South Australians will resonate with.

“I think just the significance of where the final race of the Commodore will take place in the home of production, for what was Holden, I think, is a significant story,” he said.

“Whether they [General Motors Specialty Vehicles] do anything with that, I don’t know that GM department. I think a lot of people will appreciate the synergy.”

The Commodore will be replaced by the Chevrolet Camaro next year as Supercars’ Gen3 era begins.

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