V8 Supercars – Holden celebrates 200 wins for the factory Holden Racing Team‏

October 14, 2011

V8 Supercars

Holden employees today celebrated a record 200 race wins by the official factory racing team, the Toll Holden Racing Team at Fishermans Bend headquarters in Melbourne.

Drivers Garth Tander and Nick Percat secured HRT’s historical 200th all-time race win by winning the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama on Sunday – their victory also ensuring the coveted Peter Brock Trophy remains with Holden.

Tander and Percat’s triumph was Toll HRT’s seventh victory in Australia’s Great Race and came almost 21 years to the day of when it won its first race – the 1990 Bathurst 1000 with drivers Win Percy and Allan Grice in a VL Commodore.

In front of a packed house of employees, and surrounded by many of the team’s 200 winning trophies, GM Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux paid tribute to Holden’s factory team.

“We are incredibly proud of the Toll Holden Racing Team and its extraordinary achievements over the past 21 years,” Mr Devereux said.

“HRT is part of the Holden DNA. It has become synonymous with success and Sunday’s Bathurst triumph – its 200th all-time race win and seventh Bathurst victory – was yet another milestone in its rich and storied history.

“Everyone at Holden congratulates Garth, Nick, [team owners] Martine and Ryan Walkinshaw, and everyone who has contributed to HRT’s amazing success.”

Three-time Bathurst winner Tander said he enjoyed bringing the Peter Brock Trophy back to Holden headquarters for the second time in three years.

“It’s always great to come back to Holden to bring home good news. The passion the Holden employees have for the factory Holden Racing Team is fantastic, so to be able to bring the Peter Brock Trophy home again is extremely satisfying,” Tander said.

For Bathurst rookie – and now winner – Nick Percat, the visit to Holden headquarters was almost as exciting as winning Sunday’s Great Race.

“My dad, grandfather and great grandfather all worked at Holden in Adelaide, so coming to head office was like coming home,” Percat said.

“I couldn’t believe how many people were here, it was a little overwhelming actually, but it’s great to see that everyone at Holden wanting to be a part of the Toll Holden Racing Team and our Bathurst win.”

After Percy and Grice’s 1990 Bathurst triumph, it took HRT almost another three years to win another race, World 500cc Motorcycle Champion Wayne Gardner winning another non-championship race at the 1993 Australian Grand Prix event in Adelaide.

It wasn’t until Peter Brock won Race 1 of Round 7 in his famous #05 Commodore at Eastern Creek in 1994 that HRT won its first championship race.

Craig Lowndes brought up win #50 in Race 3, Round 6 at Mallala Raceway in 1998 with win #100 coming just two years later courtesy of Mark Skaife’s victory in Race 3, Round 9 at Oran Park.

Todd Kelly brought up the team’s 150th all-time race win in Race 2, Round 6 at Hidden Valley in 2005.

HRT’s 200 all-time victories are made up of 169 championship and 31 non-championship races.

Sunday’s win was also historical for a number of other reasons, including:

–          Tander’s 50th ATCC/V8 Supercar Championship race win

–          Holden’s 28th Bathurst title, 10 more than rival Ford

–          Commodore’s 21st Bathurst win

–          Percat became the first rookie in 34 years to win the Great Race on debut (Jackie Ickx, 1977)

–          The 0.29s winning margin over TeamVodafone’s Craig Lowndes and Mark Skaife was the closest ‘competitive’ finish in race history

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