The BMW dream is over for Walkinshaw Andretti United.
The former Holden factory team was in discussions with the German automotive giant about a return to the top level of touring car racing in Australia but negotiations have failed to materialize.
We actually had two manufacturers competing with each other for our team to become a new factory team in 2021,” team owner Ryan Walkinshaw told Fox Sports’ The Loud Pedal Podcast.
“Sadly with the impact of COVID-19 both of those negotiations collapsed, which is really disappointing, one of them was at contract stage.”
Given the time restraints involved in developing a new Supercar, WAU will now continue to run the ZB Commodore in 2021.
“If you asked me in February I was pretty confident that we weren’t going to be running Commodores in 2021 but sadly with what’s been going on in the world that opportunity has disappeared,” Walkinshaw said.
“The previous manufacturers we were talking to, one of which had never raced in Australia before, one of which had raced in Australia previously and I was pretty excited about getting those guys back into Australian motorsport but sadly it wasn’t to be.”
Walkinshaw was coy when asked if he was referring to the return of BMW as had been widely speculated.
“I can’t say but I’m sure people can connect dots in a bunch of different directions,” Walkinshaw said.
With the demise of BMW and the other interested party, Walkinshaw is now focused on converting conversations with another two manufacturers for the ‘Gen3’ era when regulation changes from 2022 will open up the category to new models.
‘We’ve now got two new negotiations ongoing with a couple of new manufacturers and, (it’s) very early stages, but I’m pretty encouraged by the positive signs we’ve had but that would be a more than 2022 program at its earliest,” Walkinshaw said.
A General Motors product is not currently under consideration for Gen3 despite Walkinshaw this week announcing the transition of his iconic road car business Holden Special Vehicles into General Motors Special Vehicles following the demise of Holden.
Walkinshaw had been bullish about producing a Camaro for Supercars but the GM muscle car’s future is clouded as the American brand battles the automotive down turn and significant restructuring. Chris Stubbs/Fox