Ex-Holden big wig slams Walkinshaw errors

Holden Racing Team’s loss of factory support is the result of poor decisions by the team’s owner, an ex-Holden motorsport boss has claimed.

John Crennan, who guided the HRT and Holden Special Vehicles (HSV) operations for two decades from 1991, says Walkinshaw Racing boss Ryan Walkinshaw is to blame for the decline of Supercars’ most successful team.

On Tuesday, Holden announced they would only provide factory funding for the Triple Eight Race Engineering outfit owned by Roland Dane from next year onwards.

It brings an end to a 26-year relationship between Holden and Walkinshaw Racing which resulted in six drivers’ championships and seven Bathurst 1000 wins.

Crennan says Walkinshaw has made “monumental mistakes” since inheriting ownership of the team following the death of his father Tom in 2010.

Crennan, who is currently working as a consultant for American giant Roger Penske’s Australian operations, says among Walkinshaw’s mistakes is an outspoken presence on social media and not moving from England to Australia to oversee operations.

He also says the poaching of respected team manager Adrian Burgess from Dane’s team in 2013 put Walkinshaw in his fellow Englishman’s crosshairs.

“His appointment of Adrian Burgess created an intense enemy in Roland Dane whose experience, influence and guile to my mind was always going to see a monster come back at some point,” Crennan told motorsports website Speedcafe.com.

“It worried me at the time and I thought there would be a reset on that at some point.”

In the wake of Holden’s announcement, Walkinshaw has committed to racing a two-car team in next year’s Supercars championship.

While partnering with a new manufacturer, such as Japanese brand Toyota, has been mooted, Crennan believes associating the team with the name of legendary driver Peter Brock could be the key going forward.

“I would be seeking to gain permission from the Brock family to use the Brock name and I would have that seen as a memorial to Peter Brock so that the Brock name could live on with his connection to HDT (Holden Dealer Team) and HRT,” Crennan said.

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