NEW LOOK DECINA RACING READY FOR '06 Decina Racing is a step closer to finalising preparations towards its 2006 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series campaign with team boss Jim Morton and driver Michael Caruso today offering fans a sneak peak at the...
NEW LOOK DECINA RACING READY FOR '06
Decina Racing is a step closer to finalising preparations towards its 2006 Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series campaign with team boss Jim Morton and driver Michael Caruso today offering fans a sneak peak at the Decina Falcon's war paint.
Morton's Speed FX Racing Team, who are looking after the Decina Falcon, are excited to be the only V8 Supercar Team on Sydney's Northern Beaches after taking up residence at their Mona Vale complex late last year.
"While people probably equate surfing and fishing as the main local sports here, back in the early nineties Bob Forbes ran a team from just down the road," confirmed Morton.
"The local businesses have a rich heritage of supporting local sportspeople in all endeavours here.
"Our spring supplier, Eibach is close by our paint shop, Scotts Panel and Paint next door and our signage and displays done by Selmor Displays who are also local.
"We hope to get more local industries involved as well as we further establish ourselves as the sole representative of this region.
"Michael grew up in the area which also boasts a fairly large local Italian/Australian community."
Morton declared the Speed FX-Decina Racing package as reflective of many bold changes.
Of most significance is the appointment of former Australian Formula 3 and Karting champion Michael Caruso to pilot the fortunes of the New South Wales outfit, following a valuable season spent in Europe in a hands on role with the successful F3000 Astromega team.
The twenty-three year old's lead driver status, coupled with a totally revamped workshop in Mona Vale is part of Decina Racing's bid to go one better, after it secured a well deserved second placing in the 2005 National championship.
The simple, yet stunning new-look Decina Falcon will be officially unveiled next month in the lead up to Adelaide's Clipsal 500, however Morton couldn't wait to offer an early glimpse of the Decina creation.
"We are looking to come out in 2006 with a whole new look and feel. The colours are a little different, but we believe they are striking and will certainly turn some heads at the track," said Morton.
"Obviously there have been some internal changes during the off season, but as a team we have settled nicely into the new workshop and I'm enjoying working closely with Michael (Caruso) again.
"He is an extremely talented young man and I believe we have the package in 2006 to go the next step and win the championship, although it will be a long and tough road.
"The new livery has a strong feel towards the team's principle sponsor Decina Bathroomware, Australia's largest specialist bath and spa bath manufacturer."
Morton believes there is a genuine sense of destiny in 2006, particularly with the return of Caruso who is looking to emulate the successes the pair enjoyed as a Karting team.
Caruso won an Australian and North American championship as well as numerous State titles during a four year tenure with Morton's Tony Kart squad.
The young protege is particularly excited about the season ahead and is thankful for the chance to prove himself in elite Australian motorsport competition.
"This is a massive opportunity and a chance to expand my career. I believe 2006 is going to be a big year and basically I have to go out there and show everyone what I have got," confirmed Caruso.
"Of course I'll be going out there to win, but I am also realistic and know the importance of preparation. However, the lead up to Adelaide has been smooth and with the team I have around me anything is possible.
"I must really thank Jim for this opportunity. I'm extremely grateful for the faith he has shown in me throughout my career and I could think of no better way of expressing my gratitude than by putting the best possible results together in this year's Championship."
Heading up the hands-on technical side for Decina Racing will be Caruso's father, Mick who helped his talented son throughout his Karting career and set up his Formula 3 championship winning car.
"Dad and I have a really close relationship and we know how each other work, which I'm sure will be a major advantage.
"He was the one who started me out in Karting and when we were in F3 which makes a difference I think.
"Talking to the engineers about what is happening to the car and relating that information correctly can make all the difference between winning and losing.
"Now having spent a number of months in Europe last year working with the European Formula 3000 Astromega team, I believe I have the background now to make it happen.
"And with Dad running the Decina Falcon with me this year it is a fantastic opportunity to try and repeat the successes we have all enjoyed together."
Caruso's first round with Decina Racing will be at Adelaide's Clipsal 500 March 23-26.