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Thread: Penske threatens switch to Holden

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    Senior Member DoctorCleveland's Avatar
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    Penske threatens switch to Holden

    AMERICAN MOGUL Roger Penske has upped the pressure on Ford Australia to support his Supercars team by declaring that a switch to Holden isn’t out of the question.

    The shock possibility of DJR Team Penske defecting from the Blue Oval to the Red Lion is revealed exclusively in the latest issue of Auto Action magazine, on sale today.

    Penske expressed his growing frustration with Broadmeadows’ antipathy by conceding that in the absence of a competitive follow-up to the aging Falcon FG X racer, his Australian outpost would need to look elsewhere.

    He admitted that discussions with other manufacturers had been unsuccessful, leaving the new ZB Commodore as the logical alternative.

    “You know, we can run a Commodore, too,” Penske told Auto Action. “This is about winning. At a certain point, if you can’t get there on one horse, you’re going to have to get on another one.”



    He expands on his threat to abandon Ford in favour of the ZB Commodore, which dominated on debut at the Adelaide 500 earlier this month, in the Auto Action cover story, which is set to dominate conversation in the Supercars paddock at Albert Park this weekend.

    Penske also outlines his lack of dialogue with Ford Australia executives.

    The legendary team owner, who is also head of the multi-national Penske Corporation transport and automotive empire, has strong links with multiple manufacturers internationally and has never been averse to changing sides in IndyCar and NASCAR to maintain Team Penske as a front-runner.

    But a switch to Holden would be a polarising move because Dick Johnson Racing, which he rescued in late 2014, has been a Ford stalwart since 1980.

    Along with Tickford Racing, DJR Team Penske has been pushing Ford Australia – which quit Supercars at the end of 2014 – to support a change to a Mustang-bodied V8 racer.

    Team Penske has a winning alliance with Ford in NASCAR and Ford Performance bosses in Detroit are supportive of the Mustang proposal, but local Blue Oval management remains resistant despite the new-generation pony car’s sales success as Australia’s most popular ‘sports car’.

    While Penske expressed a clear preference for staying with Ford in Supercars, he was adamant that DJR Team Penske would change cars to remain competitive in 2019 and beyond.

    “We’re going to have to do something,” Penske said. “I think that if we want to change over to another manufacturer, obviously it would have to be Commodore.”

    In earlier unpublished comments, Penske made it clear that DJR Team Penske was open to offers from other manufacturers because of Ford Australia’s disinterest.

    “Absolutely,” he said. “We’ve had some discussions (about 2019 and beyond) with other manufacturers over, I’d say, the last 12-18 months. I think we have to take a real good look after ’18 and see who’s interested in us as a team and where we’re going because, right now, Ford locally is really not interested in any support.

    “I think we’ve carried the Ford oval – and so has Prodrive (Tickford) – in a professional way and we’ve won a lot of races with Ford. So I would hope that maybe they’ll have a change of heart at some point and want to get back in.

    “But with everything that’s been happening here (end of local manufacturing in October 2106), they’re probably focused on building the brand without local production.”

    The full exclusive story of Penske’s powerful threat to switch to Holden is in the latest issue of Auto Action, on sale now.

    By MARK FOGARTY

    For more of the latest Supercars news, pick up the latest issue of Auto Action, on sale now. Also make sure you follow us on social media Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or our weekly email newsletter for all the latest updates between issues.

    Date posted: March 22, 2018

  2. #2
    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Well played Roger.

    Both DJRTP and Tickford have a difficult decision to make. This decision is being forced on those teams. FGX's competition eligibility ends next year (with the Ultima, VF and Mercedes too i believe), and it takes 12 months to homologate and fabricate a new shape.

    They have to act now. They have 3 choices; a) lobby Ford to allow IP usage of Mustang or Mondeo, b) Switch brands or c) withdraw from the sport.

    The teams don't want to shift from Ford, and with respect nobody who supports Holden wants them in a Commodore. The series will collapse without the Blue v Red rivalry. I'm hearing snippets though that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    Fords (and most manufacturers) lack of interest is largely to be blamed on Supercars direction with the sport as a parity silhouette formula.

    AMG and BMW for example want nothing to do with the series because the rules prohibit them from showcasing their engineering excellence.

    It's a parity silhouette formula, not a Production GT type series. The flip side is that formula creates exceptionally close racing, where GT type racing can tend to not.

    Maybe Supercars needs to sit down with Ford (and other manufacturers) and ask them what they'd need from the series to attract them back... After all, if you want their involvement you need to give them a reason.
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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    Senior Member DoctorCleveland's Avatar
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    One more step towards the Commodore Cup, if this happens it would sound the death knell for the series. If someone like Penske can't attract another manufacturer to the series... It's time to consider a move to a modified GT4 formula in my opinion. Also suggests Nissan is gone, you'd think they would have had a talk with Penske if they were considering staying.

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    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorCleveland View Post
    One more step towards the Commodore Cup, if this happens it would sound the death knell for the series. If someone like Penske can't attract another manufacturer to the series... It's time to consider a move to a modified GT4 formula in my opinion. Also suggests Nissan is gone, you'd think they would have had a talk with Penske if they were considering staying.
    A parity modified GT4 style formula is the only way forward if you want manufacturer interest.
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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    Senior Member DoctorCleveland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Vman View Post

    The teams don't want to shift from Ford, and with respect nobody who supports Holden wants them in a Commodore. The series will collapse without the Blue v Red rivalry. I'm hearing snippets though that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    Can I ask you what those snippets are?

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    Miami Sprint. 4Vman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoctorCleveland View Post
    Can I ask you what those snippets are?
    A few things.

    Ford have started sponsoring the Supercars telecast on FTA with Mustang commercials.

    "Supercars, proudly bought to you by Mustang" was the line.

    If motorsport is bad for your brand image why would you promote yourself in front of said damaging demographic?

    Allegedly Ford execs were at Clipsal too.

    Roger is clever, he's antagonizing the situation to bring it to a head.
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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    Senior Member DoctorCleveland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4Vman View Post
    A few things.

    Ford have started sponsoring the Supercars telecast on FTA with Mustang commercials.

    "Supercars, proudly bought to you by Mustang" was the line.

    If motorsport is bad for your brand image why would you promote yourself in front of said damaging demographic?

    Allegedly Ford execs were at Clipsal too.

    Roger is clever, he's antagonizing the situation to bring it to a head.
    Interesting. Thanks.

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    Validated User WASP's Avatar
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    I have a feeling that change is upon us, but that all being said it is extremely disappointing that a company like Ford here in Australia have to be continually chased, convinced of the obvious and brought to the forray before taking action.

    Roger should not have to do this.
    Lifetime proud Ford Falcon enthusiast and owner of the following models XR, XY, XB, XC, XD, EB, AU, BA and FG.
    Mustang enthusiast and current owner of a 1969 Mach 1 351 4V 4-barrel M-Code

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  14. #9
    Enjoying FOA's Final Masterpiece Perko's Avatar
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    Yes I read this article and immediately thought that Roger is pulling his cards out now. Get it public, get fans out there, and then you have leverage with Ford and SC's. Now you will see how serious both are about the future of the sport. The take it or leave it attitude of both parties has led to this situation. Lose tribal rivalry and the category is dead. SC need to come up with a format encourages manufacturers to come. It is not like NASCAR where the demographics are huge. We are a smaller player but you can get leverage off the series. The second is for Ford to pull their head out of their arses. Once again it shows a clear lack of direction and leadership from them. I don't want Penske tl leave the blue oval, but at the end of the day it is a business. Roger knows this and he does it better than most. Get your shit together Ford!
    Ford Heritage : KF Laser, XF Ute, XH Tradesman Ute, EL Futura, AU2 Ute, XD Ute, XH XR6 Ute, BA XR8 Ute, SX Territory, BF XR8 Sedan, EB2 S XR6, EB1 S XR8, WQ Fiesta, FGX XR8, PX2 Ranger

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    NASCAR is an interesting one.

    They have the highest attendance rate of any US Sport, but also their venues have the highest seating capacity of any US sport by a fair margin too.
    It doesnt matter how many people want to go to a Lakers game, the Staples centre only holds 21,000 people.

    In Contrast the Indianapolis Speedway holds 235,000 people....

    So the numbers are skewed.

    But from an overall viewership/popularity perspective it doesn't even rank in the Top 10 in the US.

    So NASCAR relies heavily on bums on seats, which means it needs to be live entertainment first and foremost.

    Noise, crashes, sounds, close racing.
    My Falcon family heritage: XY V8 Falcon 500, XYGT, XBGT, XC 351 GS, XD 4.1 Spack, EF wagon, AU Wagon, AU2 Wagon, AU2 XR8, BA XR8, BF XR8, FG XR6, Lucky last: Sprint 8. Oh wait, AU3 XLS Marlin Ute!

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