Toll and HSV Dealer Team confirm V8 Supercar alliance November 21 , 2005
The dual Bathurst-winning Holden Special Vehicles Dealer Team and Australia’s biggest transport and logistics provider, Toll Holdings Pty Ltd, will go racing together next year.
The two organisations jointly announced that Toll had signed on as major sponsor for the team in Australasia’s premier motor racing arena, the V8 Supercar Championship Series.
The new-look team will be known as Toll HSV Dealer Team. The racing Holden Commodores of star drivers Rick Kelly and Garth Tander will both carry the familiar orange Toll livery throughout the 2006 season, which for the first time will include a round in Bahrain as well as rounds in Shanghai, Auckland and all Australian states.
The new partnership forges one of the strongest alliances in V8 Supercars, combining the skills of the current front-running team owned by John and Margaret Kelly’s Kelly Racing Team and the resources of Toll and Australia’s leading premium car manufacturer, Holden Special Vehicles and its Dealer Network. As well, the team will continue to be backed by GM Holden Ltd and will draw on the technical resources of Tom Walkinshaw Performance Group.
Welcoming Toll aboard as new major sponsor, John Kelly said Toll was a perfect fit for the team – dynamic, focussed and successful.
“Like us, Paul Little and his team like to win,” Kelly said. “Together, we intend to deliver the strongest partnership in V8 Supercars. This season started out as a tough one for our team, but thanks to the support of Holden, the HSV Dealer Network and our other sponsors, we have made great progress, culminating in Garth’s win and Rick’s third placing at Symmons Plains last week.
“With the combined support of Toll, Holden, HSV Dealers and our other sponsors in 2006, we intend to ensure that progress not only continues but accelerates.”
The agreement to sponsor the Toll HSV Dealer Team in 2006 marks a major step in Toll’s motor sport commitment, paralleling its own business growth. Paul Little Racing, which started in Porsches in the late 1990s, has backed Anthony Tratt’s privateer Toll Racing V8 Supercar activities in recent seasons.
When the Toll management team expressed an interest in taking Toll’s motor sport involvement to a new level with a top-10 team, Tratt was instrumental in forging the new alliance.
Toll Managing Director Paul Little said that throughout Toll’s recent years of growth and acquisitions, Tratt’s Toll race team and high-profile V8 events had provided a common area of interest that all Toll employees and customers could relate to.
“There was momentum there from sponsors, employees and our small but passionate team that the time was right for a step up,” he said.
“Toll is a successful company by any measure, and I was very conscious of the need for us to have on-track success or withdraw altogether.
“Toll couldn’t wish to a join a more competitive and professional team. We expect to be very competitive and successful.”
HSV’s John Crennan said the new partnership elevated the Toll HSV Dealer Team to “the heavyweight division with an expectation to be a serious championship contender”.
“The great thing about the Toll association is they understand racing,” he said. “With a CEO being a racer who has not only been behind the wheel but also understands the complexities and science of running race team, it makes for a successful association.
“As well, both of our companies are in transport – we are both in the business of making sure the wheels go round and also pleasing customers. It is great fit.”
Toll HSV Dealer Team will be looking to add a championship win to its list of successes, which include back-to-back victories in the Bathurst 1000 in 2003 and 2004 when the team was known as Kmart Racing.
Current driver Rick Kelly became the youngest-ever Bathurst winner in those victories. His 2005 teammate, Garth Tander, also is a Bathurst winner, racing to victory in the 1000km classic in 2000.
The new-look Toll HSV Dealer Team will hit the track for the first time in one of Australia’s biggest V8 races – the Clipsal 500 – in Adelaide in the first round of the 2006 season on March 23-26.