Jonathon Webb’s Dick Johnson Racing-prepared entry has received official backing from Ford Australia.
In a deal brokered independently by Webb and new Ford motorsport manager Chris Styring in the Middle East, Webb’s Falcon FG will carry Ford logos in the same places that the two regular DJR Falcons of Steve Johnson and james Courtney do.
The reigning Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series Champ told Speedcafe.com.au that having the factory support is a major coup in his first full-time V8 season.
“It’s great to have Ford on board as a sponsor – financial supports, parts and the whole package.
“Chris is obviously new on board and he was keen to be involved with the third car. We had a bit of a chat overseas and did the deal while we were there.
“It’s great to have the recognition of the factory and it works out well for both of us.”
Along with the Ford backing, Webb’s car will feature Canadian Club support. The whiskey brand will be displayed on the bonnet and roof while the doors remain plain white.
Webb has had offers to fill the sides of his car from sponsors, but does not want to waste the opportunity and is saving the space for a ‘well-known’ major backer.
“”We’re trying to put together a world-standard professional outfit. We could easily have ‘Jo Blogs Mechanics’ on the doors and take $20,000 off someone, but that isn’t the avenue we want to take with it,” he said.
“We want good, genuine brands on the side, but it was always going to be tough to get a good sponsor in my first year. I’m an unknown quantity for most. I might have the Fujitsu Series behind me, but that doesn’t mean a whole lot in the corporate world.
“What we did on the track in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain is a good start. Now it’s time to go and attack more sponsors, but it’s a slow process. We’re coming up to the end of the financial year, so we just got to get in there and get it happening for next year.”
Webb currently sits in 12th place in the championship – the highest placed rookie after a consistent and speedy debut in the Middle East. He says that his season goals have shifted.
“My expectation has changed, for sure,” he said.
“My original expectation was to be in the top 20, but to come back from the Middle East after new tracks with a new car, I’m well above where we thought we’d be.
“I’ve fitted in really well with the team and everything has gone to plan. The car is a jet – it’s really comfortable to drive, the team is great, our pit stops are perfect, and it’s all those things which make up the championship position.
“If nothing more, the Middle East was a great practice session, but now we’re on Australian soil we can get into it and have a red hot go.”