Ford Racing boss warns of driver poaching

Wednesday 17th March, 2010 - 11:24am


The family of Ford drivers pose for photos with Ford president Marin Burela and Ford's motorsport manager Chris Styring

The family of Ford drivers pose for photos with Ford president Marin Burela and Ford's motorsport manager Chris Styring

Ford Australia’s new motorsport manager has welcomed the possible introduction of new manufacturers into V8 Supercars competition, but has warned the sport to keep the potential of staff poaching under control.

Styring, formally involved in Formula One with Williams, said that the extra competition that a new manufacturer would bring is healthy for the sport and he has openly encouraged it. However, he doesn’t want to see his best blue oval drivers, engineers and personnel poached by a big-spending new entrant – whoever it might be, and if it ever happens …

“We wouldn’t want a driver bidding war to take place,” he told

“We wouldn’t want a situation where you’ve got a Premier League football scenario where teams are being disadvantaged or put off by other manufacturers being able to indirectly bid for and pay over driver’s salaries.”

Current V8 Supercars regulations forbid manufacturers directly financing driver’s salaries. Styring says that V8 Supercars can play a major part in ensuring there is not a blow out in personnel poaching or salary increases.

“(Car of the Future) needs the integrity of the car maintained, and also the integrity of respecting each team’s staff, drivers and key personnel,” he said.

“I think that it’s something that V8 Supercars might have to build into the rules and regulations, as much as they do with what manufacturers come in, like how they can’t directly support a driver.

“I haven’t had a chance to speak to Tony directly about how they’re going to have other manufacturers on the grid, or for that matter how potential poaching issues may arise, but I certainly raised it with Mark (Skaife, CoF consultant), and he was not surprised that I raised it.”

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