Penske: V8 Supercars team possible for 2015
Legendary American race team owner Roger Penske has confirmed that he is preparing for a possible entry into the V8 Supercars Championship in 2015.
Penske, one of the most powerful businessmen in the United States, currently fields long-running entries in America’s NASCAR and IndyCar Series.
The Penske interest in V8 Supercars has been sparked through its business arm making heavy investments in Australia, including the local Western Star truck distributorship.
“We think 2015 would be the time that we could be ready,” Penske told News Limited journalist Paul Gover at the Detroit motorshow.
“We definitely are interested in the V8 Supercar series. It just depends on when we’re in a position. Right now we’re just getting our business settled.”
Penske’s right-hand-man, Tim Cindric, was dispatched to the Sydney 500 last December where he was guest of the Dick Johnson Racing and Ford Performance Racing teams.
The visit followed two trips by Penske to Australia, where he is known to have met with DJR and V8 Supercars staff.
A partnership with Dick Johnson Racing looms as the most likely option for Penske, whose NASCAR outfit switched from Dodge to Ford last season.
Ford’s interest in the category beyond 2014 is currently unclear ahead of its planned culling of local production and with it the Falcon model in two years time.
The manufacturer’s global racing boss, Jamie Allison, joined Cindric in visiting the Sydney event last month.
Penske’s American ties meanwhile could also help V8 Supercars’ quest to twin a return to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, with a second event in North America in 2015.
Penske currently promotes the Detroit Grand Prix IndyCar event, which is run on a temporary circuit at Belle Isle each May.