Dumbrell to sit out 2011 V8 Supercars season
Look for Paul Dumbrell to sit out the 2011 V8 Supercars Championship Series.
Dumbrell, driver of the #55 The Bottle-O Racing Ford Falcon FG, has indicated to team owner Rod Nash and car preparer Ford Performance Racing that he will more than likely sit out next year’s championship to focus on his role as CEO of Automotive Brands, the parent company of Autobarn and Autopro.
Dumbrell’s original contract with Nash was for him to drive The Bottle-O Falcon entry until the end of 2012. At the time of the announcement, Dumbrell said that he would retire at the conclusion of that deal.
It seems that the pressures of his senior position at Automotive Brands, plus his increasing desire to compete in top-level marathons and iron man events, has seen him revaluate his driving future early.
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The team is now actively searching for a replacement for Dumbrell, if he goes through with his desire to take a season off racing.
According to Speedcafe.com.au insiders, Dumbrell’s seat has attracted a lot of interest from potential steerers wanting a chance to race with the factory Ford team.
Dumbrell and FPR would not make any comment to Speedcafe.com.au on the matter at this point.
Dumbrell’s decision to leave is one of two driver changes set to take place at FPR next year. Current Toll Holden Racing Team driver Will Davison will join the team, taking the #6 ride from Steve Richards.
Dumbrell’s departure may open the door for Richards to stay at FPR, while another driver mentioned as a possibility at that seat is endurance race stand-out David Besnard.
But before Dumbrell hangs up his helmet, he has six races remaining of this year’s V8 Supercars title, and thus far, has enjoyed his best V8 Supercars season to date, currently running 11th in the championship.
After winning the 2002 V8 Development Series, the 28-year-old has competed in every race and round of the V8 Supercars Championship Series since 2003. His best championship result is 13th, and amazingly, has never finished on the podium.
Since joining V8 Supercars, Dumbrell has driven for a number of teams, including Perkins Engineering, PWR Racing, Walkinshaw Racing and FPR.