FPR AND SBR START 2009 TALKS Ford Performance Racing managers met with Stone Brothers Racing last week to begin talks on how the two Ford teams will work together in 2009's V8 Supercar Championship Series. FPR's Team Principal Tim Edwards...
FPR AND SBR START 2009 TALKS
Ford Performance Racing managers met with Stone Brothers Racing last week to begin talks on how the two Ford teams will work together in 2009's V8 Supercar Championship Series.
FPR's Team Principal Tim Edwards traveled to SBR's Yatala facility with Chief Engineer Phil Keed and Engine Department Manager Brad Collins to meet with SBR team owners Ross and Jimmy Stone following Ford's announcement that the two teams will be the primary focus of its motorsport sponsorship programme next year.
"We'll obviously be working a lot closer together from now on," said Edwards. "Clearly there are issues with competitive confidentiality and we won't be running four identical cars, but we'll definitely be looking to explore each other's strengths.
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for SBR and its record in V8 Supercars and I'm sure we'll work very well together. There are a lot of practicalities to be sorted out but our meeting was a good starting point."
Ross Stone agreed with Edwards. "It has only been a few days since Ford's announcement so our talks with FPR are only in the very early stages but this initial meeting was the first step.
"SBR and FPR are two very strong teams technically and while we are not looking to create a four-car team, it is smart business that we work out mutually beneficial arrangements that will strengthen both teams."
SBR gave Edwards, Keed and Collins a tour of its facilities before sit-down talks on future collaborations, which lasted six hours.
Earlier this month Ford Australia announced plans to channel its 2009 direct motorsport sponsorship through two successful race teams, FPR and SBR. While the company will continue to provide race shells, crash panels and ongoing engineering support to other Ford teams, the move is designed to allow greater leveraging opportunities and strengthen fans' association of performance success and the Ford brand. Ford's involvement in V8 Supercars will remain the company's single largest sponsorship and category investment.