HRT’s Mark Skaife was back on the pace in V8 Supercar practice at Perth yesterday, happy to have the ownership controversy behind him.
March 24, 2007, 11.20am. Mark Skaife showed his relief that HRT has been given the green light for the rest of the season by putting his Holden Commodore at the head of the timesheets in the first part of yesterday’s practice session in Perth.
HRT got the go-ahead this week after it satisfied V8 Supercar officials about its ownership. It and Toll HSV had been accused of being owned by the same people, in contravention of V8 Supercar rules.
Skaife finished the test session third fastest.
“When I got on the plane yesterday I was quite relieved to leave Collins Street (in Melbourne where Skaife has been consulting with his lawyers for the best part of a month) and head for a racetrack,” he said.
“There has been an immense amount of pressure on us the last few weeks. Now we’ve been able to clear that up and get on with life.”
Skaife said that at times he had feared for the future of the famous Holden Racing Team as he battled to rectify the ownership issues that threatened the team with expulsion.
“From day to day it changed but, yes, it was pretty close,” he said. “It’s been a very stressful period to be totally honest – probably the hardest I’ve had work in my entire career.
“I was so proud of the guys in Adelaide to win that race (with Todd Kelly) and the resilience they showed in times of enormous pressure. I felt for all of them the whole way through.”
Skaife said the drama had affected his own driving ability.
“I wasn’t able to do what I normally do in the lead-up because I was spending all my time in Collins Street with the lawyers,” he said. “I’m not driving as well as I was last year but if I can get out of where I’ve been and spend a bit more time in the gym hopefully that will improve.”