James Courtney will lead a new-look Supercars team based out of Sydney for the 2020 season, it's been confirmed.
It will be the first Supercars team to be based in Sydney in 15 years.
The squad will be built out of what's currently the single-car Tekno squad, which will relocate from the Gold Coast to Sydney Motorsport Park in the city's western suburbs.
A second Racing Entitlements Contract will be purchased to underpin a pair of Triple Eight-built Holden Commodores.
That leaves the second seat at the new-look Tekno open, Courtney's teammate yet to be formally locked in.
The team will eventually be based in the new 'Centre of Excellence' being built at SMP as part of a $33 million upgrade, which also includes permanent lighting.
The new facilities aren't expected to be finished until 2021.
The New South Wales state government, Supercars, SMP operators the Australian Racing Drivers' Club and the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport have been heavily involved in the project.
“From day one, about 12 months ago when we sat down with the New South Wales government, CAMS and the ARDC, Supercars really bought into the vision that they had for the Centre of Excellence at Sydney Motorsport Park, which is to recreate a Silverstone, of sorts, here in Australia," said Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.
"We really wanted to anchor that tenancy in that precinct with elite motorsport in Australia and that’s with one of our teams.
“It sticks that we don’t have a team based in Sydney currently. It’s a massive market, a huge fan base, a lot of sponsors, so it was always going to be a great opportunity for the right person to pick up and run with."
Courtney, originally from Western Sydney, added that he's looking forward to getting back to his roots.
"I grew up out west and set up my whole motor racing career out there," he said.
"Western Sydney has been starved of motorsport, it hasn’t had a team there forever.
"I remember watching the [Wayne Gardner Racing] Coke Commodores back in the day, so to be part of bringing that back to Sydney is pretty special for me and I’m massively excited about the potential for the team and how popular it can be and the fan base and all that stuff out there.
“It’s fantastic to get [the news] out, get Western Sydney excited about what’s coming and for me to focus on the rest of the year."
Current Garry Rogers Motorsport backer Boost Mobile is understood to be closely tied to the Sydney project, which could pave the way for Richie Stanaway to fill the second seat.
Jack Smith is another driver that’s been linked to the Sydney programme for some time.
According to Tekno boss Jonathon Webb, there's still no firm decision on who will fill the second seat.
“We have got a little bit of work to do but there’s plenty of people kicking around, there’s a few young guys that would be great to work with," he said.
"A couple of young guys would be great to try to bring into the sport, so there’s a few opportunities there."
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