Tom Walkinshaw endorsed by V8 Supercars Board

Published: 11 December 2008
Tom Walkinshaw regains the Holden Racing Team

Pictured: Tom Walkinshaw regains the Holden Racing Team

Tom Walkinshaw welcomed the news that the board of V8 Supercars had endorsed his return to full ownership and running of the Holden Racing Team, promising all HRT fans the team would be ‘back in business’ in 2009.

“Having been involved in motorsport in this country for almost 25 years I know the passion the public has for the Holden Racing Team,” Walkinshaw said.

“And I’m just as passionate about the team.”

Walkinshaw founded Australia’s best known race team in partnership with General Motors Holden in 1988, at the same time establishing Holden Special Vehicles – the niche, high performance car company that has gone on to produce over 60,000 vehicles for Australian, New Zealand international markets.

Walkinshaw has been closely and vitally involved in the local road car and race car industries over the same time frame, creating thousands of jobs and two of Australia’s most recognisable brands.

Walkinshaw’s involvement in local motorsport extends beyond the five time Bathurst 1000/six time V8 Supercar Championship winning Holden Racing Team. He was instrumental in establishing Holden Young Lions earlier this decade, which in turn became K-Mart Racing – today known as the HSV Dealer Team.

These teams have also enjoyed considerable Bathurst and Championship success.

Greg Murphy and Rick Kelly won back-to-back Bathurst 1000s in 2003 and 2004. Kelly then won the 2006 V8 Supercar Championship for the HSV Dealer Team, with co-driver Garth Tander winning in 2007.

Internationally, Walkinshaw enjoyed much success as a driver in the British and European Touring Car Championships and his TWR Group has won major events and Championships in nearly every form of global motorsport circuit racing, including Formula 1, Nascar, British Touring Car, World Sportscar and of course V8 Supercars.

Walkinshaw, who has owned or provided engineering and support services to V8 Supercars and its predecessors since the mid 80s, said he was looking forward to returning HRT to dominating the Championship, as it did earlier this decade.

“We are determined to leave no stone unturned to fully deliver on the track in 2009, with the best team on and off the grid for the Holden Racing Team. Mark Skaife has stepped out of the Team but that winning spirit which he engendered for so many years will live on as part of our rich history in V8 Supercars,” he said.

Following on from the retirement of Mark Skaife on the weekend, the driver line-up for HRT for 2009 will be unveiled early next year. Mark will continue to play an ambassadorial role for the race team which he represented with distinction for so many years.

Walkinshaw Racing can also confirm it has been approved to acquire two further V8 Supercar licences to compete in the 2009 series.

Craig Wilson, CEO of Walkinshaw Racing, said it was an important ‘shot in the arm’ for Australian motorsport.

“It is great that we will have the backing of existing sponsors, while also bringing new corporate backing to V8 Supercars in a time of economic uncertainty,” he said.

“We will announce the drivers and sponsors for these cars early in the New Year.”

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