Could the fans of the blue oval be left within their marque in a couple years?
The iconic rivalry between Ford and Holden could be coming to a bitter end by next year.
As the last Ford Falcon GT rolled off the assembly line this week in Australia, it was seen by many as the end of an era. This end, however, is now much deeper than originally anticipated.
Goodbye Falcon, and goodbye Ford?
It has recently been revealed that Ford is slated to end its $60 million V8 Supercars sponsorship deal which will likely bring an end to the iconic Ford vs. Holden battles.
As the Falcon takes its final voyages in the sport, Ford looks to be officially leaving the series and will not renew the sponsorship deal with defending Bathurst champions, Ford Performance Racing (FPR).
Ford had apparently signed a one year deal with FPR only one day before Mark Winterbottom fought off Jamie Whincup last year which ended the Ford drought at Bathurst.
The FGX will be their last hooray
In 2015, however, the new FGX – the final Ford Falcon – has been confirmed to be the car for six drivers of both FPR and Penske/DJR but it will not be funded by Ford.
James Warburton, V8 Supercars CEO, said in an interview that he has pleaded with Ford but to little effect.
FPR recently stated that they were still at the negotiating table with Ford and that they are “still in the fight” as one FPR insider explained.
Beyond 2015, the future of Ford’s involvement in the category is in question as their presence will most likely fall to privately backed teams.
Where does Holden stand?
Holden is safe…for now
On the other side of the fence, Holden is resting easy for the time being as the native Australian manufacturer signed new deals with both the Holden Racing Team (HRT) and Red Bull Racing Australia. The Commodore is going to be effectively killed off after 2016 with a succesor yet to be named. As of right now, Holden is supporting HRT and Red Bull Racing Australia as factory-backed teams.
Could this be the penultimate Bathurst 1000 featuring the iconic Ford vs. Holden battles? Only time will tell.