After running with Volvo engines for the past three Supercar seasons, Garry Rogers confirmed today that his team, GRM, would be running with Holden engines in the upcoming 2017 season.
Rogers has confirmed that Walkinshaw Racing was assisting his team with the power unit after plans to continue with Volvo failed to materialize.
As a result his team have had to work extra hard and long hours to put together two cars to suit the new unit and he is very proud of how everyone came together to achieve the ultimate goal.
“I cannot emphasise how proud I am of all the girls and boys at GRM who changed holiday plans and other family events in an effort to complete a task that many would see as impossible,” he wrote. “The normal build time for a Supercar from the first chassis bars being welded to the time it would debut is approximately 16 weeks. We had to build two brand new cars in less than 10 weeks!”
Garry admitted that thoughts of actually leaving the sport did enter his mind after failing to secure an engine deal, however they left his mind almost as soon as they entered…
“Having exhausted all potential avenues, including offering to buy the Volvo engines I felt as though I had two choices. One was to say “well the last 50 odd years have been great, but it’s time to give it away”,” he explained. “This thought barely entered my mind, as I truly love what I do and I admire and respect every one of my 34 employees. The second option was to build two new cars. This decision was made in early December, and we have been absolutely flat out ever since.”
“This could only happen with the commitment, generosity, assistance and input of many people. Of course the core of this are the GRM workers. We chose to build Commodores as we had raced them in the inaugural COTF season in 2013 and were familiar with them.”
“Following the 2013 season we had sold our two VF’s and many of the associated parts, moulds and accessories. Tony Klein (Dragon Motorsport) owns the 2013 cars and much of the associated equipment. Tony has been a great help in enabling us access to much of this equipment so as we can have these cars built in time for the test day in one month’s time.”
“Walkinshaw have also assisted in engine supply. This is not as simple as it seems as engines for Supercar racing are certainly not of the “off the shelf” variety. Adrian Burgess quickly assembled his workforce to produce engines to cater for our needs, and again this would have resulted in peoples Christmas plans been disrupted.”
Thankfully money wasn’t an issue with Garry confirming that his loyal sponsors stuck by him despite the difficulties they were facing.