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Toll Holden Racing Team celebrates its 21st birthday

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Ice Maiden

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It is 21 years to the day since HRT made its race debut at the first
round of the Australian Touring Car Championship, held at the now
defunct Amaroo Park Raceway in Sydney on Sunday, 25 February, 1990.
On
that historic day, then-team manager Win Percy drove the team’s lone
car on the day, the #16 VL Commodore SS Group A SV, finishing 14th after
starting 16th.
To mark the occasion, HRT held a party at its race headquarters in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton.Current
day drivers, Garth Tander and James Courtney were joined in the
celebrations by team members past and present, and City of Kingston
Mayor Cr Ron Brownlees.
Tander and Courtney began the day by cutting a commemorative birthday cake.“Driving
for the Toll Holden Racing Team is a great honour and it makes me even
more proud to be here today celebrating 21 years of achievement – today
is recognition of everyone that has worked with HRT and contributed to
its winning heritage,” Tander said.
New team-mate Courtney said the team’s recent success in the Middle East added to the occasion.“I
love a party and what better way to begin my career at HRT than to
arrive in time to celebrate the team’s 21st birthday – and after such a
great win in Abu Dhabi, it makes today even more special,” Courtney
said.
Holden Motorsport Manager, Simon McNamara congratulated Holden’s official factory racing team on the special occasion.“The
Holden Racing Team is a much loved and valued member of the Holden
family and we are incredibly proud of its achievements,” McNamara said.
“We congratulate the team today on its 21st birthday and we look forward to many more celebrations together.”Toll Holden Racing Team Managing Director, Craig Wilson said the team was proud of its history.“To get to 21 years is a fantastic achievement and one we at the Toll Holden Racing Team are extremely proud of,” Wilson said.“HRT
has experienced much success over that time and it is a credit to all
of the team members, both past and present that have made a contribution
over the last 21 years.
“All of the 2011 Toll Holden Racing Team members look forward to continuing that success over the coming year.”In recognition of its achievements, Mayor Brownlees presented the team with a framed commemorative certificate."Congratulations
to the Holden Racing Team on 21 years of success on the Australian and
International race circuit,” Brownlees said.
“As a Council, we are extremely proud of the world class, high-tech advanced manufacturers that operate in our city.“The
Holden Racing Team is to be commended for its commitment to total
excellence which is required for such success. We are very proud to
have HRT as a business in the City of Kingston."
After a humble
start, Percy scored HRT’s first ever podium at the fifth round of the
championship when he finished third at Lakeside in May 1990.
Percy
and Allan Grice then combined to deliver HRT its first ever race
victory in October that year, winning Australia’s Great Race, the
Bathurst 1000 at Mt Panorama. Team-mates Brad Jones and Neil Crompton
finished a creditable fifth in the second HRT Commodore.
Albeit
popular on the day, their win was considered a major upset, Grice and
Percy defeating a fleet of Ford’s high-fancied turbocharged Sierra
RS500s in their home grown Commodore V8.
Since then, HRT has gone on to become Australia’s most successful motor racing team of the modern era.Its
successes include six driver’s titles (1996, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02), six
Bathurst 1000 victories (1990, 96, 2001, 02, 05, 09), and the 2009 V8
Supercar Team’s Championship.
HRT also holds the all-time modern
era record of 196 race wins (166 championship, 30 non-championship) –
the most recent coming with Courtney’s thrilling Race 2 win at the
opening round of the 2011 International V8 Supercar Championship in Abu
Dhabi earlier this month.
HRT is also the only team to have won
races in every state and territory in Australia, along with New Zealand,
China, the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.
HRT’s
driver line-up reads like a Who’s Who of Australian motor racing,
including; Percy, Grice, Jones, Crompton, Tomas Mezera, Wayne Gardner,
the late, great Peter Brock, Craig Lowndes, Greg Murphy, Mark Skaife,
Paul Morris, Cameron McConville, Tony Longhurst, Jim Richards, Jason
Bright, Todd Kelly, Ryan Briscoe, Tander and Courtne
y.

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VRCALAIS

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