SETON’S ‘TEMPTING’ OFFER OF A KMART HOLDEN DEAL

A digitally altered image of what a #5 Glenn Seton / Kmart Racing Team Holden Commodore may have looked like in 2003. Pic: an1images.com / Graeme Neander

THE number 5 has been gracing the sides of a leading Ford Supercar for almost a quarter of a century.

Out of use for many years to avoid clashing with Peter Brock’s iconic #05, Glenn Seton adopted it late in 1998 after handing the champion’s #1 to Craig Lowndes.

The Ford icon used it through to the end of Glenn Seton Racing at the close of the 2002 season, when he sold his eponymous team to Prodrive, and again in 2003 and 2004 when he drove for the rebranded Ford Performance Racing outfit.

The number has remained with FPR through all its identity changes in the years since, with Greg Ritter, Mark Winterbottom, Lee Holdsworth, Jack Le Brocq and now James Courtney campaigning the #5 on a series of Fords.

However, the number came close to crossing the floor to Holden in 2003 – as did Seton.

It’s one of a number of revelations contained in his autobiography Seto – The Official Racing History of Glenn Seton.

Seton’s operation carried Ford Tickford Racing branding from 1999 to 2001, but slimmed down to a single car for 2002 amid a return to Ford Credit Racing branding.

The final season of GSR was a battle for its owner; Seton managed only a handful of top-10 race finishes across the season, which began with a big crash at Adelaide’s infamous Turn 8 during the Clipsal 500 weekend.

Seton follows Todd Kelly’s Kmart Holden through the Senna Chicane during the 2002 Clipsal 500 Adelaide. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

On the other side of the fence, Holden’s factory squad was sweeping all before it, with wins earnt by both the Holden Racing Team and Kmart Racing Team – the two entities both operated by Tom Walkinshaw Racing.

However, with the latter squad needing to secure its own licences for 2003, one of Seton’s old friends proposed a solution that would have put Ford’s most recent championship winner into a Kmart Commodore.

“Mark Skaife could see I was struggling and, after my crash in Adelaide at the start of the season, wanted me to speak to [TWR Australia boss] John Crennan,” Seton wrote.

“John proposed I sell them my franchise and come and drive one of the Kmart Commodores full-time in 2003.

“That four-car squad was absolutely dominating in 2002 and the idea of getting into one of those cars was tempting.

“But if I sold my franchise then all my other assets, including my cars, would be hard to shift.

“And if I drove at Kmart for a year and then was no longer wanted, restarting my team couldn’t happen without a franchise. It didn’t add up.”

Click HERE to buy Seto – The Official Racing History of Glenn Seton from the V8 Sleuth Bookshop.

Will Dale is V8 Sleuth's Head of Content - Digital. He began his media career as a breakfast radio newsreader before joining SPEED TV Australia and FOX SPORTS Australia in 2012 as its Digital Editorial Lead - Motorsport, covering all forms of motorsport both in Australia and internationally. He became part of the V8 Sleuth team in 2018.