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HomeNewsThe Kingswood that helped win the V8 Supercars Championship - twice!

The Kingswood that helped win the V8 Supercars Championship – twice!

THE Toll HSV Dealer Team won the V8 Supercars Championship for drivers two years in a row, with Rick Kelly in 2006 and with Garth Tander the following year.

The team, formerly Kmart Racing and originally created in 2001 as the ‘sister’ operation to the Holden Racing Team in the Clayton business park in the suburbs of Melbourne that was also home to Holden Special Vehicles, overtook HRT as the dominant Holden team from that part of the world in that period.

However one of the team’s secret weapon Holdens was not its orange and black Commodores backed by transport giant Toll, rather a clapped out Holden Kingswood.

Like many other teams before and since, the Rob Crawford-led squad utilised a special pit stop car at its workshop for the all-important practice of pit stops.

As reported in Motorsport News’ Issue 338 back in July 2006, the team’s Kingswood had started its life as one of the team members’ family car.

The old HZ had a nice interior but was ‘rough-as-guts’ on the outside. The team stripped it, pulled out the interior guards, installed on-board jacking system, race brakes and no-longer-fit-for-racing wheels, a race seat and an instant pitstop practice car was created!

Four tyres, no fuel, good to go! The Toll HSV Dealer Team pit stop practice car sure did the job! Photo: Motorsport News Archives.

“We asked Holden for a car to use for pitstop practice,” explained Crawford at the time, the team manager who also doubled as the team’s pitstop car driver.

“We could not get one so we thought, ‘To hell with this, we will build one’.”

And indeed build one they did!

But what happened to the HZ Kingswood ex-Toll HSV Dealer Team pit stop car? We’d love to know!

The HSV Dealer Team finished at the end of 2008 as the Kelly family departed Clayton to setup its own Jack Daniel’s-backed Kelly Racing team and Walkinshaw Racing put four cars under its banner for 2009 – the pair of HRT entries, an Autobarn-backed car for Paul Dumbrell and Bundaberg Rum-backed Commodore for David Reynolds.

Since then other Supercars teams have employed old road cars and converted them to suit their pitstop practice purposes.

Albury-based ‘pit stop kings’ Brad Jones Racing have utilised a modified Falcon AU for its pit stop practice car – and given their wins in the Pirtek Pit Stop Challenge, it’s fair to say it’s worked well!

Read Motorsport News Issue 338 here ….

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