Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : April May 2014 Issue 80 Contents 32
Sierras that required them to be pulled apart for inspec-
tion, they were all ultimately cleared and claimed clean
sweep of the podium, but he had upset the apple cart.
Dick Johnson decided to protest the modifications to
Perkins’ car, and they were found to have illegal steer-
ing racks, so had they finished the race they would have
been disqualified. It left a bitter taste for the Scotsman,
as if he needed a reason for more angst with Perkins.
The deal with Perkins was a year only, and when
the ATCC kicked off in 1989, it did so with the Special
Vehicles team and not the promised Holden Racing
Team, which was still taking shape. For the endur-
ance races, Walkinshaw and Crennan again turned to
Perkins, who ran cars for the first time under the HRT
banner. Both cars plundered three laps off the pace.
“The clashes between Tom and Larry meant that
arrangement was only every going to be temporary, and
it didn’t end well either,” says Crennan.
“There was the possibility of litigation over money
and who owned what equipment and emotions ran
pretty high at the time. In hindsight, it was all pretty
silly, and I’m pleased we listened to some of the people
at Holden who told us just to solve the problems.
“But then we had to get things such as a workshop
and other facilities to run the team all in one place. I
was going to be involved to a certain degree, more on
marketing and branding, Tom was going to look after
the contracts and other parts of the team, and Win
Percy was brought in to run the show.
“The relationship between Win and I was not a good
one. Win was quite a character in many ways, Tom
always referred to him as ‘Wobbly Win’, because he was
so hot and cold. One minute he was mad about being
Australian, the next he wanted to go home. It got off to
an awkward start and Holden didn’t need to see that.
Aside from that win at Bathurst, it was an awful time.
Tom wasn’t committed and he wanted to pull out,
then we did it part-time which was embarrassing after
the promises we had made to sponsors.”
After that brief reunion with Perkins, the Holden
Racing Team proper commenced with that clumsy
management structure that Crennan spoke about in
1990. It was no match for the turbocharged cars from
Ford and Nissan. However, Bathurst was a different
story; the planets aligned on that day and Percy with
Allan Grice came away with the win. It was a hard-
fought victory. Some performance boosts through
some rule changes helped, but in the end it was nine
months of unending work and a spot of luck.
Normally a Bathurst win for a young team would be
enough, but the next few years were tough. After Percy
decided to return to England at the end of the 1992
season, Walkinshaw cracked it and the team we see
today almost ended at that time.
“It was all over the place and Tom was running out
of patience,” says Crennan. “Then Tom decided not to
run all the races despite the win at Bathurst. In fact,
Tom wanted to close it down, but I put my foot down.
“At the end of 1993 I had written a three-year plan
about how we needed to be the most popular team,
the best Holden team and the team winning races and
championships. The turning point was when we got
Brock – we clearly lacked the presence of a Brock if we
were going to be the most popular, and I fought hard to
get him. Rob McEneiry, who was the marketing direc-
tor at Holden, said there was no way that was going to
happen while he was there... and then he got moved to
Sweden and we started working on Brock.”
Brock returned to the Holden fold by signing with
HRT in 1994, coming full circle with the manufacturer
and setting the team on its way to the top.
Scan to watch the
Holden Racing Team
win Bathurst on debut
HOLDEN RACING TEAM 25 yEars
aboVe: allan grice and win
Percy celebrate victory for
hrt on debut at bathurst.
toP: larry Perkins in the
holden special vehicles
commodore in 1988, the
entry that paved the way
for the creation of the
holden racing team.
V8X80 p30-32 HRT Birth.indd 32
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