Dick Johnson Racing looks set to scale back from four to just two cars for the 2013 V8 Supercars Championship, with Paul Morris considering his options for 2013.
Morris currently runs his Racing Entitlements Contract from within DJR’s four-car team, but the veteran team owner is close to deciding if he will remain with the famous Queensland squad for a second season, or switch to Holden team Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport.
Johnson’s team is certain to reduce by at least one entry next year, with Charlie Schwerkolt taking his #18 REC to Ford Performance Racing.
Morris was coy when approached by Speedcafe.com on the future of his REC and did not rule out remaining with DJR next year.
“Obviously, you consider all your options, but right now, the plan is to press on here,” Morris told Speedcafe.com.
“I’ve spoken to Lucas (Dumbrell) about next year, but I have no plans at the moment to do that.”
In terms of timing, Morris says that he wants to secure his entry’s future as soon as possible.
“Yesterday,” Morris added when asked when he’d like his deal wrapped up.
“It’s a dynamic thing that is evolving. For everyone’s sake, we need a decision on what we’re going to do, but until we get of our ducks in a row, it’s a hard thing to commit to.”
A switch to the LDM outfit by Morris would fit in well with Dumbrell’s previously stated desire for expansion, and could potentially make use of the only Triple Eight Car of the Future chassis that is set to be completed in time for next season but is currently unaccounted for.
Triple Eight protege and LDM endurance driver Scott Pye has been linked to a drive with the Melbourne-based team, which currently fields Taz Douglas in its single entry.
If the Morris-Dumbrell deal does go ahead, it will leave the 2013 grid with 15 Holdens, six Fords, four Nissans and three Mercedes-Benz AMGs.
Meanwhile, the other REC owner within the DJR squad, Dean Fiore, confirmed to Speedcafe.com that he is pressing ahead with plans to remain with DJR.
“My intention is to stay with DJR. They’ve been really good to me, and despite the rumours and innuendo, the future of DJR looks bright,” Fiore told Speedcafe.com.
“At the moment, they’re running four cars quite comfortable, but whether it’s two or three next year. It’s just a matter of managing the people.
“For me, I learned a lot about the business of being in V8 Supercars, running my own show, not so much about the driving.
“I look at this as my second year in V8s, in terms of development as a driver, with access to proper data, really good people around me, and I’m enjoying my racing more than I ever have.
“It’s not all doom and gloom. There’s some hope there to do really well for the future. I just have to map it out properly for next year.”
Additionally, DJR’s operations manager Scott Jennings confirmed to Speedcafe.com that negotiations with major sponsor Jim Beam and car maker Ford are ongoing, but hinted that the team may run with a rotating list of primary sponsors next season.