Car manufacturer Ford has announced the end of an era, with plans to leave the V8 Supercars competition.
The announcement comes days before the Bathurst 1,000 race, which takes place on Sunday.
Chris Thompson reports.
Practice is well under way at Mount Panorama, but not everyone is in high spirits, as the reality of Ford’s decision to leave the V8s by 2016 sinks in.
Ford’s rivalry with Holden dates back to the start of the competition the 55 years ago.
Racing legend Dick Johnson called the move a disaster but says he’ll be sticking with Ford for as long as he can.
Dick Johnson, Dick Johnson Racing: “We’re committed to running Fords next year and after that, that’s up to Roger and the team to decide which direction we go in.”
Fans say the change will affect their view of the event.
Ford Fan: “It’s Ford versus Holden, so if there’s no Ford there’s no use coming here.”
This afternoon, Mark Winterbottom dominated the fifth round of practice setting a time just under two minutes and six seconds.
All competitors were pushing hard in the good conditions.
Not everyone has been as successful, the Porsche Carrera Cup has already seen some spectacular crashes.
Jamie Whincup is currently at the top of the V8 championship ladder, with Craig Lowndes second and Winterbottom in third.
After qualifying there’s the Top Ten Shootout tomorrow, and the big race on Sunday.
And ironically Ford is looking very competitive.
Chris Thompson, QUT News.