MULTIPLE Bathurst 1000 and Supercars Championship-winning engineer Richard Hollway will return to the Supercars paddock in 2021 after joining Team 18.
He assumes the new Head of Engineering role at Charlie Schwerkolt’s Holden squad and will oversee an engineering group that comprises Manuel Sanchez and Phil Keed, race engineers for Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye respectively.
The move means Hollway ends a 10-year stint at Garry Rogers Motorsport where he served as its chief engineer, and mentored the likes of Scott McLaughlin and Lee Holdsworth to pole positions and race wins.
GRM left Supercars at the end of the 2019 season, but Hollway returned with the squad for its wildcard Bathurst 1000 entry with rookies Tyler Everingham and Jayden Ojeda.
“With COVID I’ve basically had a year off from racing, but we went up to Bathurst for the GRM wildcard entry and it was there I realised I still loved the Supercars and thought it would be great to get back into it,” Hollway said.
“I started to have a look around after Bathurst. I actually spoke to Charlie last year and we were close to doing something then and I regretted not doing it, but I spoke to him again and it all came together this time.
“It’s a good model that the team is running as a Triple Eight customer with engineering support and one of the key factors for me was their performance this year, they’ve done an awesome job and really stepped up, so I’m looking forward to bolstering the engineering department and contributing to their efforts next year.
“I’m really excited to apply the knowledge I’ve gathered over the last 25 years or so to this new program, but I’ll also be on a steep learning curve with the progression of the cars and the Gen-3 regulations approaching.”
Prior to his time with GRM, Hollway was a key part of the Holden Racing Team during its golden era of dominance, working with Mark Skaife, Craig Lowndes, Peter Brock, Jim Richards, Garth Tander and Greg Murphy.
The glory years for HRT are covered in our new book Racing the Lion: An Illustrated History of Holden in Australian Motorsport, a 400-page hardcover book paying tribute to the marque’s rich competition history spanning over seven decades.
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During that time, he was in charge of the homologation of the VE Commodore for Supercars, and later oversaw the development and homologation of the Volvo S60.
He also spent a couple of years with Brad Jones Racing in 1995 and 1996 on its factory Audi Super Touring program, culminating in a championship victory with Jones in 1996.
“It’s a great coup for the team to have an addition with his record in the sport,” Schwerkolt said.
“To build Team 18 I want the best drivers and the best people I can recruit in their role, Richard is a strong addition and a natural fit to our team’s culture.
“Scott [Pye] and Phil [Keed] have built a great relationship and gelled really well, so we don’t want to upset that, but while he is based in Queensland it made sense to get another person on the ground at Mount Waverley to oversee both cars and increase our engineering capacity.
“To finish 2020 as the fifth best team in pit lane in our first year as a two car team is something I’m very proud of, but we have to keep improving and we have built the foundations to do that.
“Supercars is so competitive that unless you keep striving to do better there’s plenty of teams knocking on the door, so bringing Richard onboard is the latest progressive move to take Team 18 to the next level in performance.
“We will continue with our support and technical arrangement with Triple Eight, it is such a valuable partnership and Richard will be a natural conduit to our communication with the factory team.”