James Courtney has praised Ford Australia’s vision of returning to Dick Johnson Racing as an official sponsor in 2010.
When Ford restructured its financial commitment to motorsport in 2008, the famous Ford team was left out of its racing budget.
DJR driver Courtney says that having the blue oval back as an official backer of the Jim Beam-backed team is justification of the hardwork and solid results the team scored last year – without Ford’s assistance.
“It’s fantastic news that Ford has come back to support Jim Beam Racing,” he said.
“We had an incredible year last year with a couple of victories and a few podiums.
“With there only being 10 Fords in the field this year, we’re going to have to try and stick together.
“It’s great news, not only for Dick and Charlie (Schwerkolt), but it’s for the all the boys in the team. Not having manufacturer support last year was disappointing, and it’s good that they do see the effort that we have put in and acknowledged it with manufacturer support.
“It’s a big relief and a big weight off everyone’s shoulder. It will help with the budget as well.”
On Tuesday, Ford also announced the reintroduction of a motorsport manager – Christopher Styring – and Courtney agreed that coupled with its support of Dick Johnson Racing, Ford is taking its racing as serious as ever.
“I was having a chat with Marin (Burela, Ford Australia President) and he said the way it was done in the past wasn’t really how he saw the future of Ford’s racing, and he’s doing what he can to change as much as he can for this year,” he said.
“I’m sure it’s only going to be bigger and better in years to come.
“Its good to have Marin on side. He has a similar vision to what we have, and he sees the value in our sport, which is very important. It’s good to have that sort of pull at the top.”