Walkinshaw buys V8 Supercar team
V8 Supercar star Mark Skaife has agreed to relinquish ownership of the Holden Racing Team under a confidential deal which will clear him of what is understood to be a multi-million dollar debt.
Skaife will give up his interest to international motor racing magnate Tom Walkinshaw, who previously owned the outfit before relinquishing control to Holden when he ran into financial troubles of his own.
The two agreed on Monday for the Scot to assume immediate full ownership of HRT.
But Skaife, a five-time V8 and Bathurst champion, will remain heavily involved with HRT as an ambassador.
And he will also maintain his high-profile role with Holden once he retires from fulltime V8 driving after the final round of this year's series at Sydney's Oran Park on this weekend.
"While the details of the agreement will remain confidential, no debt or other outstanding financial commitments will remain in relation to Skaife's team involvement," Skaife and Walkinshaw said in a joint statement.
The news came the day News Ltd newspapers reported Skaife was facing financial ruin because he owed $3.6 million to Walkinshaw and had been forced to sell his Melbourne house and move into a flat with his family.
Skaife said the discussions with Walkinshaw had been going on for weeks.
The driver's management had earlier denied the 41-year-old had been forced to sell his home because of financial problems.
"Tom and I have been working together on this for several weeks. It's disappointing that our negotiations were inaccurately reported just as we were reaching agreement in the best interests of Holden Racing Team," Skaife said.
Walkinshaw said he welcomed the resolution and that he and Skaife looked forward to an exciting future for HRT.
Skaife announced in October he intended to retire from fulltime driving at the end of the season. But he remains likely to drive at least the two endurance rounds, which include the Bathurst 1000, in 2009.
Skaife is set to be replaced by Ford's Will Davison at HRT next year.
Davison, 26, has leapt into the championship top five this season driving for Jim Beam Racing and his move is set to be confirmed as early as next week.
He will join 2007 V8 Supercar champion Garth Tander at HRT. Fox Sports