-- Ford Tickford Racing Is Go -- Ford Australia have announced the formation of Ford Tickford Racing - the first direct Ford factory team since 1973. FTR is seen as a direct counterpart to the Tom Walkinshaw run Holden Racing Team. FTR ...
-- Ford Tickford Racing Is Go --
Ford Australia have announced the formation of Ford Tickford Racing - the first direct Ford factory team since 1973. FTR is seen as a direct counterpart to the Tom Walkinshaw run Holden Racing Team. FTR absorbs Tickford Engineering's competiton department and Glenn Seton Racing. Glenn Seton and Neil Crompton will be the teams two drivers in AU Falcons, although while the second car is being built Crompton will drive an existing Glenn Seton Racing EL Falcon. The team will run in colours similar to GSR's 1998 scheme. From 1974 to 1978 and from 1992 to 1998 Ford have supported several teams including Moffat Ford Dealer Team, Dick Johnson Racing, Glenn Seton Racing, Stone Brothers Racing, Alan Jones Racing, Tony Longhurst Racing & Ross Palmer Motorsport. A side effect of the Ford Tickford Racing announcement is that Tickford Engineering will no longer the Sandown 500.
-- Ford Falcon AU Wing Debacle --
The anouncment last week of the formation of Ford Tickford Racing is quite a turn around for Ford after threatening three weeks ago to pull out of V8Supercars. TEGA had rejected Ford's expensively developed AU aerodynamic kit, stating that Ford would have to use their existing EL wings on the AU Falcon, much in the same way that Holden were forced to adapt the VS wings for the VT Commodore. Ford spent almost a quarter of a million dollars testing wing desgins in a Lockheed wind tunnel prior to the decision. All teams running the Au Falcon will not now get their wings until mid-February, leaving the teams only three weeks to test prior to the season openner at Albert Park. this will affect the four major factory teams, Ford Tickford Racing, Dick Johnson Racing, Stone Brothers Racing, Tony Longhurst Racing and the privateer Weel Racing.
-- DJR Sign Kiwi World Cup Champ --
Dick Johnson Racing have confirmed the signing of New Zealander Paul Radisich to drive the second Shell Falcon in this years Shell Championship series. It is believed this was Radisich's first option for a drive despite several offers to remain in Europe. Steven Johnson has been confirmed as lead driver for the SSV Motorsports team, but are still to name the teams second driver or to conclude the purchase of the two DJR EL Falcons they had their eye on.
-- Huge Albert Park Entry List --
AVESCO have released the entry list for the Hot Wheels V8 Supercar Challenge, the lead support event at the Australian Grand Prix. Several of the front running teams have only listed one of the new models (VT/AU). Two high profile teams absent from the list are SSV Motorsports, John Briggs Racing and McLean Motorsports Ford teams. Caeron McLean's website states they are enterred for Albert Park however. PAE Motorsports have only enterred one car for John Bowe and it is not sure at this stage whether it will be the new AU or the existing EL Falcon. John Trimbole makes his return to the class after a year in GT-P. Dean Lindstrom makes his sprint debut in the Ultra-tune Commodore. Wayne Gardner will debut his new Perkins built VT Commodore. Dugal McDougall also makes his sprint race debut, and Rodney Forbes will start his new Commodore under the banner of the Lansvale Smash Repairs team alongside Trevor Ashby. Noske Racing has two cars enterred for Mark Noske and Todd Kelly. Neil Crompton is enterred as an AU Falcon but is expected to drive an EL. Similarly Garth Tander s enterred as a VT Commodore but is expected to run a VS. Mark Poole is eneterred but is not expected to compete as the car has been sold. Chris Smerdon is also enterred but will not compete if his car is sold. Barry Morcom returns in a new car - an EL Falcon. There is confusion over whether Simon Emerzidis has enterred his new Falcon or the teams older VS Commodore. The full entry list is as follows.
1 Craig Lowndes Mobil Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VT 2 Mark Skaife Mobil Holden Racing Team Holden Commodore VT 3 Trevor Ashby Lansvale Smash Repairs Holden Commodore VS 4 Jason Bright Pirtek Stone Brothers Racing Ford Falcon AU 5 Glenn Seton Ford Credit Ford Tickford Racing Ford Falcon AU 6 Neil Crompton Ford Cerdit Ford Tickford Racing Ford Falcon AU 7 Steven Richards Wynns Gibson Motor Sport Holden Commodore VT 8 Russell Ingall Castrol Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VT 10 Mark Larkham Mitre 10 Stone Brothers Racing Ford Falcon AU 11 Larry Perkins Castrol Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VT 12 Greg Murphy Wynns Gibson Motor Sport Holden Commodore VT 14 Mike Imrie Saabwreck Motorsport Holden Commodore VS 15 Todd Kelly Noske Racing Holden Commodore VS 16 Dugal McDougall Aloe Quench Perkins Engineering Holden Commodore VS 17 Dick Johnson Shell Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon AU 18 Paul Radisich Shell Dick Johnson Racing Ford Falcon AU 19 Wayne Gardner Coca-Cola Wayne Gardner Racing Holden Commodore VT 23 Ray Hislop NHP Ford Falcon EL 24 Paul Romano Romano Racing Holden Commodore VS 25 Tony Longhurst Castrol Tony Longhurst Racing Ford Falcon AU 27 Terry Finnigan Sony Autosound Holden Commodore VS 28 Rodney Forbes Lansvale Smash Repairs Holden Commodore VS 30 Greg Crick Ericsson Ford Falcon EL 31 Steve Ellery Chelgrave Ellery Racing Ford Falcon EL 32 Tomas Mezera Plaspak Holden Commodore VT 34 Garth Tander Valvoline Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Commodore VT 35 Jason Bargwanna Valvoline Garry Rogers Motorsport Holden Commodore VT 38 Mark Poole James Rosenberg Holden Commodore VS 39 Chris Smerdon IT Services Holden Commodore VS 43 Paul Weel K&J Radiators Ford Falcon AU 44 Mal Rose Fairfax Community Classifieds Holden Commodore VS 46 John Faulkner Fisher & Paykel / Betta Stores John Faulkner Racing Holden Commodore VT 47 John Trimbole Bottle Magic Holden Commodore VS 48 D'arcy Russell Rod Smith Racing Holden Commodore VS 50 Dean Lindstrom Ultra-Tune Clive Wiseman Racing Holden Commodore VS 52 Barry Morcom Ford Falcon EL 54 Simon Emerzidis Simon's Earthworks Ford Falcon EL 55 Rod Nash AutoPro Rad Nash Racing Holden Commodore VS 60 Nathan Pretty de Walt Pretty Racing Holden Commodore VS 66 John Bowe Caterpillar PAE Motorsports Ford Falcon AU 72 Robert Smith Smith's Transport Holden Commodore VS 74 Kevin Heffernan Price Attack / KFC Pace Racing Holden Commodore VS 75 Anthony Tratt Toll Express Ford Falcon EL 77 Richard Mork Holden Commodore VR 79 Mike Conway Cadillac Productions Ford Falcon EL 99 Mark Noske Noske Racing Holden Commodore VS
-- GT-P Announces Dates --
The Australian GT-Production Car Championship has finally announced it's dates. The GT-P's will run on the V8Supercar Program, after 4 years on the Super Touring Support program, with dates as follows. March 28 AGTPC Round 1 Eastern Creek, New South Wales April 11 Adelaide 500 Support Races, South Australia May 16 AGTPC Round 2 Phillip Island, Victoria June 6 AGTPC Round 3 Hidden Valley, Northern Territory June 27 AGTPC Round 4 Sandown, Victoria July 11 AGTPC Round 5 Willowbank, Queensland July 25 AGTPC Round 6 Calder Park, Victoria August 22 AGTPC Round 7 Winton, Victoria September 5 AGTPC Round 8 Oran Park, New South Wales September 19 GT-P 1 Hour, Sandown, Victoria November 14 GT-P 3 Hour, Mount Panorama, New South Wales The GT-Production Car Championship will be televised a week delayed on Channel ten. The new program "Trackside" will also included the Formula Ford and Formula Holden highlights, and it is highly likely the the privateers V8 race will be on the program as well.
-- New Queensland Circuits --
The new Queensland Raceway at Willowbank near Ipswich will have an open day on February 7. Gates will open at 10:00am. Darlington Park near Beenleigh in Queensland has finally openned it doors and is already planning motorcycle events. The circuit which has muliple layout options, will apply for positions on next years Shell Series and Australian Super Touring programs.
-- Eastern Creek Pre-Season Test --
On February 27 Eastern Creek is hosting a V8Supercar test session. $5 entry and a large number of top teams will be present. It will also be the last chance for the V8's to test before packing up to head for Albert Park. $15 for circuit entry pitwalk and paddock access. There will be a lucky gate prize in which the winner gets a lap with Jason Bright or Mark Skaife.
-- Other News --
John Bowe run the PAE Motorsport EL Falcon for the first time at Wanneroo last weekend in the Sports Sedan category.
Russell Ingall has taken up an option on his Perkins Engineering contract that will see him stay at the Castrol sponsored team until the end of the 2000 season.
Rodney Forbes has purchased an ex-Wayne Gardner racing VS Commodore to run in this years Shell series to run under the banner of benchmark privateer operation Lansvale Smash Repairs. Interestingly the car was originally built by Rodney's father Bob in 1993 when he was running the GIO team and was then later sold to Wayne Gardner Racing in 1994. Lansvale team manager Wally Storey run the car for Forbes and gardner during that time.
Commodore Cup figure Owen Parkinson has bought the James Rosenberg VS Commodore usually driven by Mark Poole. The car will be sponsored by Trust Bank. A list of prominent young Tasmanian drivers are in the running for the drive of the car, headed by 1997 Commodore Cup champion Dean Crosswell. Crosswell won the privateers cup at his first V8Supercar meeting at Mallala last year in the Greg Crick run Commodore. Also under consideration are 3 times Australian Drivers Champion Paul Stokell, 1998 Commodore Cup runner up Tim Shaw and AUSCAR frnt runner Jason Wyllie.
Meanwhile Poole and Rosenberg are in the process of securing the Garry Rogers Motorsport VS Commodore to run this year. The car was driven last year by Steven Richards and Garth Tander and was originally built by Gibson Motor Sport.
Greg Crick has taken possession of the Stone Brothers Falcon that won the Bathurst Classic and has already been setting excellent times in the car. Crick set times at lakeside comparable with times set by bright and by Dick Johnson Racing in their last test at lakeside - which also included the handing over of Cameron McLean's new car.
Steven Ellery has taken possession of the other ex-Stone Brothers Bathurst car. The ex-Mark Larkham EL Falcon will be driven for the whole 1999 Shell series in the colours of Chelgrave Contracting.
Chris Smerdon has announced he will purchase a new Perkins Engineering built VT Commodore, but the car won't be available until Perkins finishes construction of his new VT part way through the Shell series.
Cameron McConville is still no closer to a drive for 1999. With rumours still puting Matt Coleman in the front wheel drive Audi A4, his best hope would appear to be the second factory Volvo S40 - if it appears. Paul Morris has denied any connection with the Volvo team. McConville has also denied a part season link with Tony Noske's two car Holden Commodore team.
Privateer Rod Nash will set up his own team base for 1999, moving away from the shade of the John Faulkner Racing umbrella. Autopro will continue its support for Nash - who will update to a JFR-built VT mid-year. In the meantime he will campaign the ex-Gardner VS which rolled in qualifying at Bathurst last year. Faulkner will upgrade to a new VT for the AGP meet, his VS is available for lease.
South Australian prvateer Alan Heath has purchased the ex-Tony Longhurst Racing Komatsu Falcon as a rolling chassis. The car was driven last year by Alan Jones and strangely involved the same accident at Forrest's Elbow, Bathurst that wrecked Heath's existing ex-Allan Moffat car. The undamaged mechanicals from the Moffat car will be transferred to the new car.
Queensland based privateer Charles Ryman has purchased a new ex-Glenn Seton Racing EL Falcon after destroying his existing EL in a crash at Lakeside's fearsome kink. A tyre failure caused the shunt which put Ryman in hospital for 4 days with concussion.