February 8, 2007. Toll HSV Dealer Team has taken the wraps off the car Rick Kelly will drive in his Australian V8 Supercar title defence.
Kelly and teammate Garth Tander drew the covers off the VE Holden Commodore at Holden Special Vehicles’ Clayton factory in Melbourne.
Kelly was then joined by Paul Little, managing director of major sponsor Toll Holdings, to ceremoniously rip the #15 from the door of the car, leaving the champion’s #1 for the new season.
The team also announced that Kelly and Tander had signed new deals to drive with the Toll HSV until at least the end of 2008.
Both drivers will test the VE at Winton in the next couple of weeks in preparation for the season-opening Clipsal 500 in Adelaide, on the first weekend in March.
Although they say it will take time to get to grips with the new cars, Tander adds: “Our team is not in the business of building slower race cars.”
The Toll HSV VE Commodore was designed and built in conjunction with Holden and Walkinshaw Racing in a project dating back more than a year.
Apart from two brand new cars for the first time in the team’s history, Toll HSV Dealer Team has another major asset going into 2007: stability. All team personnel and major sponsors are back for another season..
Kelly says it was a big moment when he saw the #1 on the side of his new car for the first time.
“That’s a pretty special thing, to see your car sitting there with No. 1 on the door,” he says. “That gives me a lot of motivation to go out there and work towards being a better driver, someone who can repeatedly have the No. 1. This year is the year I really want to achieve my full potential.”