Prime Mover Magazine

Isuzu returns to Supercars as competition deals with Holden collapse

Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) has signed on again as the official sponsor of Tickford Racing on the eve of the Supercars season opener in Adelaide at a time of uncertainty for the touring car Championship following the stunning collapse of Holden. 

It marks the second year of Isuzu's involvement as a team sponsor of the Ford Mustang aligned Tickford Racing team in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.

The announcement follows a recent decision by General Motors to axe Holden, a major sponsor and manufacturer of vehicles in the popular motorsport Championship.

As many teams were left digesting the implications of the GM announcement ahead of the Superloop Adelaide 500, outfits like the Red Bull Holden Racing Team are faced with uncertainties regarding next season despite inking an extension to the deal it had in place with Holden in 2019.

Last year after much anticipation the Ford Mustang made its long awaited debut in Supercars, effectively replacing the Ford Falcon, which had been a stalwart on the Australian touring car circuit for decades.

The introduction of the Mustang generated new interest even as fan loyalty for traditional brands in the competition had started to wane in recent years.

Established as Ford Performance Racing in 2002, Tickford Racing  as it’s known today won the championship in 2015 with driver Mark Winterbottom.

This year driver Lee Holdsworth will look to build on the top 10 finish secured in 2019.

He will pilot the number 5 Truck Assist Ford Mustang.

“The car has come off great, and if it drives half as well as it looks I think we’ll be in for a really good year," he said.

“Our 2019 was very solid, especially in the back half of the season. Sammy (Scaffidi, engineer) and I have gelled really well working together, and I believe we can carry our speed from the end of last year into the new season. I’m really excited to get into it,” said Holdsworth.

IAL Head of Marketing and Customer Experience, John Walker, said Tickford Racing and driver Lee Holdsworth had a proud history and pedigree.

“We’re excited to be supporting the Tickford team in 2020 and we’re expecting some red-hot competition out on the track,” he said.

“A lot of our truck customers hold a pretty close interest in the Supercars championship and it’s a great way for us to get out there and be a part of something that’s near and dear to many of our operators and the wider Isuzu family,” he said.

“And with Isuzu’s sponsorship we’ll also bring the latest news and exclusive access to the goings-on and behind-the-scenes action to the Isuzu Trucks community.”

(Image: Lee Holdsworth with Tickford Racing Ford Mustang).

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