Australia's newest V8 Supercar team Decina Racing was officially launched on the Gold Coast today.
The two-car team will be operated by Paul Cruickshank Racing at Southport and will field Warren Luff as its lead driver in the V8 Supercar development championship, formerly known as the Konica Minolta Series.
Luff, who was named 2004 Rookie of the Year at last Friday night's gala dinner after an impressive debut season with Dick Johnson Racing, will also drive for Stone Brothers Racing at the Betta Electrical Sandown 500 in Melbourne in September and the Bathurst 1000 in October.
The new team is a hybrid of PCR and Jim Morton's Speed FX team which campaigned an ex-Mark Winterbottom Falcon in this year's Konica Minolta Series for Greg Ritter with some success.
Joining Luff will be Melbourne youngster Marcus Zukanovic, who will head into his second season in the development series with PCR.
"It makes sense for us to combine with Paul who has level one standard facilities and a very experienced crew", said Morton.
"We both enjoy a strong relationship and unfortunately there is very little V8 Supercar infrastructure in Sydney.
"There is no doubt that Warren will be a terrific asset for us and that Marcus will continue to grow with us in and out of the car."
Paul Cruickshank Racing has made plenty of impressions since its establishment at the beginning of 2003. The team will not only campaign the two AU Falcons in the development series, but also a couple of cars in the 2005 Porsche Carrera Cup.
Team owner Paul Cruickshank was delighted to come to an agreement with Speed FX and Luff.
"The signing of Warren Luff for our Team in the Development Series is a major coup for all concerned", said Cruickshank.
"Warren had an excellent rookie year in the main Series with a third at Sandown the highlight. As a proven level one driver we can expect to fully realise the potential of the car which has been a round winner in both the last two years.
"This is definitely the next step in the development of our team, which we would like to see in the main V8 Supercar Championship Series within three years."
Luff, who officially broke ties with DJR last week, said he was looking forward to an exciting future with Decina Racing and SBR for the endurance races.
"I think this provides an exciting opportunity to keep my backside in a race seat full-time, while developing a relationship with the best team in the business in SBR," said Luff.
"Paul Cruickshank is extremely experienced and takes his racing as seriously as anyone I know.
"Jim Morton also has years of knowledge at all levels of the sport and I think we can all work together to give Decina and our others sponsors the results they deserve.
"I have to thank everyone involved for the opportunity and I cannot wait to get out there in the Decina and SBR colours at different stages of the year."
The Team's signature partner Decina Bathroomware is Australia's largest specialist bath/spa bath manufacturer. Decina baths, showers and spa baths are sold nationally through plumbing supply outlets, bathroomware shops and building centres.
Decina is also a Queensland based company, employing 80+ people in their Carole Park manufacturing plant and in their branches around Australia. It has a significant share of the Australian bath market and has gained an enviable reputation for quality, service and innovation. Early in the New Year they will launch a new range of ergonomically designed hydrotherapy baths called Dolce Vita Line.
Decina Racing is expected to have its first test early in the year and Luff will have his first race for the team at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide from March 17-20.
2005 DEVELOPMENT SERIES CALENDAR
March 17-20 -- Adelaide (V8 Supercar support event)
May 13-15 -- Wakefield Park, NSW
July 8-10 -- Eastern Creek, NSW
July 22-24 -- Queensland Raceway (V8 Supercar support)
August 19-21 -- Mallala, SA
October 6-9 -- Bathurst, NSW (V8 Supercar support)
November 27-27 -- Phillip Island (V8 Supercar support)