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HRT denies crisis following departures

Speedcafe.com

Monday 30th May, 2011 - 5:23pm

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High profile signing James Courtney currently sits 13th in the V8 Supercars Championship standings

High profile signing James Courtney currently sits 13th in the V8 Supercars Championship standings

The Toll Holden Racing Team has denied it is in crisis following the departure of its managing director Craig Wilson and team manager Rob Crawford in recent days.

CLICK HERE for the breaking news story on Craig Wilson

CLICK HERE for the breaking news story on Rob Crawford

The official factory team of Holden has endured a tempestuous start to its 2011 campaign, with team drivers Garth Tander and James Courtney currently sitting third and 13th in the championship standings respectively having scored just one race win each.

While an announcement last Friday confirmed that Wilson had left to spend more time with his family, Toll HRT commercial manager Bruce Stewart could not make comment on the nature of Crawford’s exit.

“The contract conditions are naturally confidential,” Stewart told Speedcafe.com.

“This is obviously separate from Craig Wilson’s announcement last Friday.

“In terms of responsibilities to fill the gap, we hope to be in a position to confirm the new appointment within five to seven days.”

Stewart denied that the team is in crisis, saying that Ivan Krizman, who has now added the role of acting managing director to his previous position of director at Walkinshaw Racing, will lead the team forward.

“Definitely not,” said Stewart in response to talk of a crisis.

“Ivan is in charge and has a wealth of experience, including within the team.

“From the racing side of things, all key structures remain intact, so our racing operations are very much focussed on Darwin (the upcoming Sky City Triple Crown) and trying to get the best result we can.

“We’re just focussing on winning races going forward and ensuring that the Toll Holden Racing Team is at the front of V8 Supercars.”

While the HRT has not won the V8 Supercars Championship since 2002, Stewart stressed the importance of on-track results to the team’s existence.

“The key for the Toll Holden Racing Team and Walkinshaw Racing is being at the front – that’s the core focus of our business,” he said.

“That’s the message that we’re aiming for – to be the leading team in V8 Supercars at the front of the pack.”

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