Tasman Motorsport will close its doors at the completion of this season.
The Victorian-based V8 Supercar team sold its two Racing Entitlements Contracts during the week to Tony D’Alberto Racing and the Dumbrell family, signaling the end of one of the foundation V8 teams, which originally started its life 24 years ago as the Lansvale Smash Repairs team.
The team’s Dandenong factory assets, including transporter, engines, tools and equipment will be onsold to other teams.
Tasman co-owner Kevin Murphy will take two Sprint Gas VE Commodores for use in the Fujitsu V8 Development Series at Greg Murphy Racing next year, while Tasman key personnel, under the guidance of team chief Mike Henry, are looking to set up a race preparation facility in Melbourne, possibly in league with engine man Royce McCort.
In a press statement, Tasman co-owner Tim Miles was disappointed to report the demise of the team.
“It’s is a shame to end such an era in the sport, but, our business model would not support the sporting success that we desired,” Miles said.
“During the period of our ownership, the team has showed promise – generally in the enduros – and we were gutted to come so close – but still miss out on a pair of podiums at Bathurst this year, with the (Mark) Skaifey and Murph car as well as Bargs and (Mark) Noske.
“The fact remains that our structure was not going to allow us to grow into a team that consistently challenged for podiums, in such a competitive environment that is V8s.
“But, we have had a great team of guys and they will move on to bigger and better positions in the sport.
“Finally, I would also like to acknowledge the support of all our sponsors, especially Fuchs (who have been with us for seven years), Sprint Gas – and all of the others – plus give a special mention to original founders Steve Reed and Trevor Ashby, who have been very much a part of the fabric of this team.”
Tasman’s 24 year lineage dates back to 1986 when Lansvale owners Steve Reed and Trevor Ashby appeared as privateers in pit lane in a VK Commodore, winning the Privateers Cup in 1988. The duo subsequently made 16 Bathurst starts to hold the record for most starts by a single combination in the history of the race.
Under Tasman ownership, the team’s best results included runner-up finishes in the Bathurst 1000 in 2005 and 2008 and third place in the 2005 Sandown 500.