The debut of the VE Commodore V8 Supercar for HRT has been overshadowed by off track antics. With mystery surrounding the actual ownership of HRT it was feared the HRT cars would not be allowed to line up on the grid for the WA (Barbagallo) round on the 23rd of March.
Thankfully HRT were allowed to race and Skaife, somewhat prematurely it now appears advised the media that 'the problems' were now behind them. Unfortunately that doesn't seem to be the case.
Tension between Skaife and Tom Walkinshaw looks to be increasing. Mark Fogarty and Rob Margeit noted in their recent Auto Action article on the subject that the issue appears to be due to
"the failure of a deal with Tom Walkinshaw to share team ownership".
They go on to note that
"Despite Skaife's insistence at the Barbagallo (WA) round that the threat to his team has been lifted, AA has learned that the licence-saving proposal was rejected by Walkinshaw last week,".
"Walkinshaw refused to be a party to the agreement and withdrew his offer to settle Skaife Sports' debts to Walkinshaw Performance in return for shared ownership of the (TEGA) licences,"
It appears that there is a fair sum owed as according to Auto Action;
"Skaife's company owes a multi-million dollar payment dating back at least three years for services provided by Holden Motorsport and Walkinshaw Performance."
Skaife has been given three weeks by TEGA to meet the requirements of the deed if he is to retain his two licences to compete. Lets hope he finds a solution to the financial crisis as the V8 Supercar series would not be the same without HRT and Skaife.
Skaife has told TEGA that he will find a solution and its probably fair to assume that both Holden and Ford camps will be pleased to see Skaife put this issue to rest and get back to doing what he does best. Driving bloody quickly.