November 29, 2003 - Ford Performance Racing (FPR) will field two Falcon V8 Supercars in the 2004 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series.
As a result of this major team decision, 2003 FPV FPR Falcon driver David Besnard will no longer be driving for the team following this weekend's final round of the 2003 Australian V8 Supercar Championship Series at Sydney's Eastern Creek Raceway.
According to FPR Managing Director David Flint, "The reasoning behind this decision is directly linked to the competitive disadvantages of operating a three car V8 Supercar team and is in no way a reflection of David's valuable contribution to FPR in its inaugural season.
"The decision to compete with two cars in 2004 has been directly influenced by the impossible situation we have faced, struggling to field three competitive cars using one pit boom.
"Three into one simply does not work when your goal is to win in this highly competitive motor racing category and it would be fair to say that David has been the most affected by this during the season.
"The most unfortunate consequence of this strategic decision is that we will be parting company with David, who has been an integral part of the team since its inception. David has worked solidly throughout the season, having to endure the longest wait for his new car, while also having a number of his race performances compromised by our difficult pit situation. All of us at FPR wish David all the very best and we hope that he continues his unbroken V8 Supercar association with Ford well into the future," he said.
While understandably disappointed by this decision, Besnard plans to make his final two races with FPR at Eastern Creek this weekend his best yet.
"The team was faced with a major decision and the solution meant that one of the drivers would not be staying with the team for the 2004 season. Although I am disappointed, I understand more than anyone else that FPR faced a strategic challenge racing three cars this season. We all agree that this is the best move for all involved. I have enjoyed being involved with FPR and its staff and I wish the team well in the future.
"I will be concentrating on ending the season on a high note here at my home circuit before sitting down for talks with some prospective new employers," Besnard said.
FPR Chief Engineer John Russell believes that the decision to field two FPR Falcon V8 Supercars in 2004 is the right one, albeit at the unfortunate cost of one of the team's current drivers.
"I would like to thank David for his professionalism in some trying times during the season. I also acknowledge every member of the team for working tirelessly beyond the call of duty to allow FPR to deliver the cars and results achieved this season. Strategically, the ability to focus on two cars will be crucial to deliver the results expected in 2004," he said.