Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Dec 2016 Jan 2017 Issue 96 Contents 51
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
2000 Skaife steps up to win his first championship for
the team. A new technical arrangement with John
Hart Technology sees HRT solidify its engineering
strength, though there are problems on the driver front. In Novem-
ber, Lowndes announces he’s leaving the team for what emerges as
a defection to Ford.
2001 The contenders to replace Lowndes are Todd Kelly,
Marcos Ambrose and Jason Bright. It comes down
to a coin toss between Ambrose and Bright, won in
favour of Bright. However, Kelly lands a drive with Walkinshaw’s
Kmart Racing operation alongside Greg Murphy; the factory opera-
tion expanding to four entries to create more opportunities within
the team. Skaife takes the new VX Commodore to the Bathurst and
2002 The Skaife steamroller continues with another
Bathurst and championship double. In addition to
the two HRT entries and the Kmart entries, the team
also fields Rick Kelly in the Holden Young Lions entry that had been
loaned out the previous two seasons and would race under the HRT
banner for the final time in 2002. But the downfall of TWR in Europe,
highlighted by its crumbling Arrows Formula 1 team, threatens to
derail HRT’s success.
2003 TWR’s collapse results in Holden stepping in to save
the team, backing Skaife’s purchase of the opera-
tion for $3.25 million, staving off interest from the
likes of Triple Eight Race Engineering, which ran General Motors’
factory team in the British Touring Car Championship. The Kelly
family buys the Kmart Racing branch of the team with Rick Kelly
replacing brother Todd, who in turn replaces the Paul Weel Racing-
bound Bright at HRT. Holden Motorsport is created to oversee the
technical and marketing relationship of the leading Holden entries.
Meanwhile, the series introduces the Project Blueprint regulations
designed to improve parity between the new BA Falcon and VY Com-
modore, highlighted by standard design features, while HRT debuts
a new Holden Motorsport-branded engine. Stone Brothers Racing’s
Ambrose ends Skaife’s reign as champion, with the season ending
on a sour note following a controversial collision between Skaife and
Russell Ingall at Eastern Creek.
2004 HRT loses further ground as work continues on how
to manage Skaife’s workload with the addition of
former AFL player-turned-manager Craig Kelly to
the team. But the comeback of Brock as an endurance co-driver that
ends without the great getting to turn a lap at Mount Panorama
following a crash for John Cleland typifies a season of frustration
for the team.
2005 Walkinshaw returns to the scene, first as a mana-
gerial adviser for Holden Motorsport and then, at
the end of the year, with the repurchase of the team
that would be known as Walkinshaw Racing. This includes both HRT
entries and the renamed HSV Dealer Team (HSVDT), following the
loss of Kmart sponsorship. Garth Tander enters the fray as replace-
ment for Murphy at HSVDT, while Skaife and Todd Kelly combine
to win the Bathurst 1000.
2006 With Walkinshaw now back at the helm, the team
moves into its current facility at Clayton Park with
an eye on returning to the top of the championship.
But it’s the HSVDT entries in contention, which sees the team swap
drivers across its two different entities for the endurance events – the
Kellys at HSVDT and Tander and Skaife at HRT – drawing complaints
that it’s against the spirit of the rules. Rick Kelly goes on to win the
title in controversial circumstances following a collision with Triple
Eight’s Lowndes at Phillip Island. The year ends with news of Grech’s
defection to Paul Weel Racing.
2007 The team faces renewed pressure from V8 Supercars
and rival teams to explain the relationship between
Holden Motorsport, Walkinshaw Racing, HRT and
HSVDT, which threatens the team’s place on the grid. Changes to the
ownership structure and clarification of the relationship between the
entities dissuade any concerns, but HSVDT’s ascendancy over HRT is
confirmed when Tander wins the title in the first season of running
the VE Commodore.
HOLDEN RACING TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP & BATHURST TREND LINE
● CHAMPIONSHIP ● BATHURST
Best results for the HRT entries. Does
not include Walkinshaw Racing-run
entries such as the HSV Dealer Team,
Holden Young Lions, etc.
V8X96 p48-53 HRT.indd 51
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