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Sunday, 08 January 2017 00:00

Holden Racing Team: Rise and fall of the empire

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The Holden Racing Team (HRT) ruled V8 Supercars at the turn of the century. But the team's fall from the top of the perch would eventually spiral to the loss of factory Holden funding and status at the conclusion of 2016.

V8X Supercar Magazine charts the team's incredible journey, from creation to the crossroads, in issue #96.

Issue #96 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.

CLICK HERE for more information on V8X Supercar Magazine issue #96.

The seeds of HRT were sown in the divorce between Peter Brock and Holden in 1987, which resulted in the demise of the Holden Dealer Team and its road-going division, HDT Special Vehicles.

Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR), which had won the Bathurst 1000, the Le Mans 24 Hour and British and European touring-car championships, was awarded the deal to run the factory Holden team from 1988.

With Walkinshaw focusing on setting up the road-going division, Holden Special Vehicles (HSV), the running of the team was contracted out to Larry Perkins' Perkins Engineering on a two-year deal.

The new TWR-designed racer, based on HSV's new Group A model, debuted at the Sandown 500 with a second place, while Perkins ended the year with a win at the non-championship Australian Grand Prix event.

The team ran a limited campaign with an eye on the endurance events in 1989, which paid dividends with second place at Sandown in the first appearance of Holden Racing Team branding.

Then the deal between TWR and Perkins Engineering came to an end, with the former bringing the program in-house and the latter going its own way.

So begins HRT's journey... Issue #96 traces the team's history with a year-by-year rundown, its championship and Bathurst trendline, driver and car honour rolls, Bathurst, endurance event and championship winners and more.

CLICK HERE to purchase the print edition of issue #96 to read the full feature.