One of Australia's most successful property developers, Craig Gore, has launched his own two-car Ford V8 Supercar team to be based on Queensland's Gold Coast. To be known as WPS Racing, the team will be the new home for V8 Supercar star David ...
One of Australia's most successful property developers, Craig Gore, has launched his own two-car Ford V8 Supercar team to be based on Queensland's Gold Coast.
To be known as WPS Racing, the team will be the new home for V8 Supercar star David Besnard and talented Melbourne-based driver Mark Noske.
The team, which was officially unveiled at the Brisbane Motor Show today, will carry the black and silver corporate colours and full sponsorship from the Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Services group.
Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Services is an emerging Sydney-based financial services provider of which Gore is the chief executive and chairman. It is one of a host of companies associated with Mr Gore, whose primary business interests operate under the diversified principal company the Atkinson Gore Group.
The WPS Racing team intends to make its track debut in support races at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 4-7 before being on the grid for the opening round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series in Adelaide on March 18-21.
In what has been an amazing four weeks, Gore has finalised the purchase of the remains of the former 00 Motorsport operation, transported it from Melbourne to the Gold Coast, developed a fully operational workshop from scratch, had his two cars totally re-painted and livery added, had team uniforms designed and manufactured, and found his first 10 employees.
Gore dabbled in motorsport sponsorship last season with Charlie O'Brien's Porsche in the Carrera Cup and with Noske's own Falcon for a few races.
"It has been one hell of a ride to get to this point today," said Gore.
"The opportunity presented itself for us to have our own team and we thought it was 'now or never'.
"I think the V8 Supercar Series has done some fantastic things in the past couple of years and can be used as a great marketing tool for our WPS financial services business.
"We know this is a hard and tough game and we under not under any illusions as to what we can achieve in the early stages, especially getting everything together with just a month to the first race.
"Mark Noske has been an underrated driver for some time and to have the talent of David Besnard to negotiate with this close to the start of a season was an incredible bonus for us.
"David is playing an active role in the team on a day-to-day basis and I think he will be a fantastic asset for our organisation."
Besnard is regarded as one of this country's leading stars, but was left without a drive when Ford Performance Racing decided to go from a three-car to two-car operation in 2004.
The 26-year-old started his V8 Supercar career with Stone Brothers Racing in 2001 after an impressive international career which started in go-karts in Italy as a 15-year-old and finished seventh in the 2002 championship, which included a win in the Queensland 500.
"I was prepared to sit out the season, take the best of a heap of endurance race options and concentrate on putting a deal together for 2005, but then things changed -- and in a hurry," said Besnard.
"We had our first meeting with Craig (Gore) a couple of weeks ago and we really have been at a million miles an hour ever since.
"What Craig has managed to pull together in such a short amount of time is incredible -- he is so driven -- I don't think he has been to bed in the last month.
"I think if we can instil his passion into the right mix of staff, then we can go racing and eventually be very competitive."
Noske drove for his own team for the majority of last year before teaming up with Stone Brothers Racing for the endurance events with youngster Mark Winterbottom.
"I think there is the making of a very strong team here and it's good to be part of it," says Noske.
"It is not going to be easy but there are a lot of people working hard to make sure we have the tools to do the job."
Gore, at 37, is an amazing business success story. He controls 46 companies and has more than 250 employees.
Gore is the son of the late Queensland developer and Sanctuary Cove visionary Mike Gore, who himself raced in the late 1960s.
"I still have memories and some great old photographs of Dad racing his old Monaro against guys like Norm Beechey, 'Pete' Geoghegan and Kevin Bartlett," says Gore.
"It is probably good he isn't around today because he'd probably want to jump in and take the ting for a spin."
The new WPS Racing Falcon will be on display at the Brisbane Motor Show until late tonight before being transported to Melbourne for its race debut.