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Single car teams look at FPR merger

Speedcafe.com

Monday 11th July, 2011 - 8:09pm

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Mark Winterbottom's Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon at Townsville

Mark Winterbottom's Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon at Townsville

Ford could have its own four car ‘super team’ as early as next year.

With teams now focused on finding the best way to go about their racing programs in 2012, Ford Performance Racing has re-affirmed its stance on boosting its line-up, which could go head-to-head against a mooted Triple Eight Race Engineering/Paul Morris Motorsport Commodore quartet, as reported by Speedcafe.com last week.

Single car teams that may be fit for an alliance with FPR are Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport and Triple F Racing.

FPR currently runs its own Orrcon and Trading Post backed Falcons from its Campbellfield workshop, in addition to preparing Rod Nash Racing’s The Bottle-O entry.

While the factory Ford squad forged a technical alliance with Tony D’Alberto Racing at the beginning of this season, the Wilson Security FG is prepared and run by D’Alberto’s own crew.

FPR has long stated a desire to run four cars from its own workshop, but only if it doesn’t hinder the performance of its three current cars, and makes commercial sense.

FPR’s team principal Tim Edwards admits that he has received approaches from a number of teams, wishing to discuss a potential future together.

“We’re always talking to people. That’s what teams do. We’re always looking for opportunities. We’re always keeping our eyes out for what’s going on, Edwards told Speedcafe.com.

“But as we stand here at the moment, we’re a three car team.

“When the right opportunity comes up, we’ll do it, but up until this point in time, nothing has changed since the last time you asked me.”

LDM and Triple F both started their own single-car teams in 2010. Triple F’s driver/owner Dean Fiore told Speedcafe.com recently that he was looking at all his options for 2012 and beyond.

LDM owner Lucas Dumbrell says that his preference is to remain as a single car operation, but could be forced to align with another team to improve the outfit’s competitiveness.

“I’m evaluating all my options,” Dumbrell told Speedcafe.com.

“It’s a bit of a pain that Car of the Future has been pushed back to 2013 because it has left me with that year in between. I don’t want to buy anything, because it will be relatively worthless when Car of the Future comes in, but we can’t continue performing how we’ve been performing.

“In saying that, I didn’t start the race team, set-up the workshop, buy the expensive equipment to have someone else run my team. I want to have an active, day-to-day role – staffing, who drives the car, finances – want to be involved in all aspects of the business.

“My preferred option is to stay on my own. At the moment, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

With V8’s anticipated Car of the Future due in 2013, Edwards says that he feels that now is the right opportunity to make a change, if it suits all parties.

“All the teams are weighing up their options with 2013 in mind,” he said.

“We’re making our plans for 2013 now, and I need to know how many cars we are going to need to build. Do we need four? Do we need six?

“As we start to understand more about the car, I need to know what manufacturing capabilities I need, staff levels, all those parameters. No one is going to leave it until 2013. The balls are in the air, and everyone has the goal of knowing what’s happening as soon as possible.”

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