TEAM BIO / HISTORY: The Toll Holden Racing Team enters the 2011 V8 Supercar Championship Series with one goal in mind – to re-establish itself as the number one team in pit lane. 

2010 V8 Supercar Champion James Courtney joins 2007 Champion Garth Tander at the official factory squad in what promises to be one of the most exciting starts to a V8 Supercar season.

Tander and Courtney will push each other to new heights as the team welcomes back Courtney to the Holden family. The 28 year old started his career with Australia’s most successful V8 Supercar team in 2005, contesting the annual endurance races at Sandown and Bathurst.

Despite the passing of team owner, Tom Walkinshaw, in December of 2010, the Walkinshaw legacy lives on in the team he founded more than 20 years ago.

Walkinshaw started Australia’s best known race team in partnership with General Motors Holden in 1990, and at a similar 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 was 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 six time Bathurst 1000/six time V8 Supercar Championship winning Holden Racing Team and he was instrumental in establishing the Holden Young Lions earlier this decade which went on to be known as K-Mart Racing and later the HSV Dealer Team.

These teams have also enjoyed considerable Bathurst and Championship success. His involvement and investment in the Toll Holden Racing Team is a good omen for fans right around the country.

The last few years have bought their share of triumphs for Australia’s famous motorsport squad and the team has experienced their fair share of misfortune.

In its long history the team has consistently demonstrated its winning form, experience and innovation, amassing six championships and six Bathurst 1000 titles, as well as numerous round victories – many more than any other team.

Originally, HRT was based in Notting Hill in Melbourne’s outer east. However the growth of the Team necessitated a move in the mid nineties to its current base at Clayton Business Park, in the same complex as Holden Special Vehicles.

With the establishment of the V8-only category (later to become V8 Supercars) in 1993 and a return to the Holden Vs Ford format much loved by motorsport fans in this country, HRT went through a restructure which saw Peter Brock return to the Holden family.

In 1996, Craig Lowndes, in his debut season, clean swept the Australian Touring Car Championship. Alongside Greg Murphy, he backed this up with wins in the Sandown 500 and Bathurst 1000 events. That was the first title for HRT, followed by the run of Championships from 1998 to 2002 and victories at Australia’s premier touring car event, the Bathurst 1000, also followed in 2001 and 2002.

In 2003, HRT began the homologation development of Holden’s V8 Commodore race package, including the V8 category’s “Project Blueprint” for technical parity, which was a massive engineering test.

The team experienced both highs and lows over the five years between 2003 and 2008, with highlights including the team’s 50th round win in 2005 while a fifth Bathurst crown was also added to the team’s honour roll.

2008 saw 2007 V8 Supercar Champion, Garth Tander, join the Toll Holden Racing Team. He finished third in the 2008 Championship including impressive wins at Hamilton, Winton and Oran Park, as well as the Phillip Island 500 endurance event and non-championship round at the Australian Grand Prix.

For the 2009 and 2010 seasons, Garth Tander was joined by Will Davison, the pair enjoying much success over the ’09 season including a clean sweep of the endurance events at Phillip Island and Bathurst, recording the team’s sixth Mount Panorama victory. In the same year Davison went on to finish runner up in the Championship, Tander was third, and take home V8 Supercars’ coveted Barry Sheene Medal.

Highlights of the 2010 season included Tander’s victories in both races at the Clipsal 500, his first win of the double, and the inaugural race at the Gold Coast 600 as well as further podium finishes at Hamilton, Queensland Raceway, Townsville, Bathurst and Tasmania.

As Holden’s official factory team, the Toll Holden Racing Team is proud to be able to continue Holden’s long tradition in motor sport in Australia. Since 2008, Holden has shared naming rights to the Team with Toll Holdings, while Mobil continues to be heavily involved in supporting HRT.

The success of the Toll Holden Racing Team has encouraged key joint venture partners in technical support areas such as the partnership with John Hart Technology and Mazak Machine Tools that have resulted in HRT enjoying one of the most comprehensive small design and manufacturing facilities in Australia. Similarly too, a long association with automotive paint refinisher PPG, has allowed the Group to have its own body repair and paint shop based in-house.

The Toll Holden Racing Team is looking forward to delivering results on the track in 2011.

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