Tom Walkinshaw, owner of the Holden Racing Team (HRT) and a career veteran in racing and performance car circles, died yesterday at the age of 64 of lung cancer.
Scottish-born Walkinshaw packed a wide variety of accomplishments into his lifetime and his racing history included a career as an F1 team manager and owner at Benetton and Arrows, along with time spent as a driver in Formula 2, Le Mans and in touring car championships. He was also the owner of English rugby club Gloucester.
In Australia, Walkinshaw was heavily involved in local motorsport and his exploits included a Jaguar-sponsored assault on the Bathurst 1000, the birth of Holden Special Vehicles in 1987, the creation of the Holden Racing Team (HRT) in 1988 and a swag of V8 Supercar titles.
Holden Chairman and Managing Director Mike Devereux today paid tribute to Holden Special Vehicles and Holden Racing Team owner and founder Walkinshaw in saying, “On behalf of the men and women at Holden, I’d like to extend our deepest sympathies to Tom’s family, friends and co-workers across the world. For more than 20 years Tom’s pursuit of excellence helped forge our brand’s reputation as a performance leader both on and off the track through the creation of Holden Special Vehicles and the Holden Racing Team. From the original 1988 Group A Commodore that will forever be known as a “Walkinshaw” to the extraordinary W427 20 years later, Tom’s work was truly iconic. His contribution not only to Holden, but the automotive industry is legendary and will never be forgotten.”