Engineer swap for Paul Dumbrell’s #55 entry

Paul Dumbrell, right, at the Armor All Gold Coast 600

Paul Dumbrell, right, at the Armor All Gold Coast 600

Paul Dumbrell will enter the Falken Tasmania Challenge at Symmons Plains with a new race engineer.

Recent Ford Performance Racing recruit James Small will take charge of Dumbrell’s #55 The Bottle-O Racing Ford Falcon for the remainder of the season, replacing long-time FPR employee Dave Patterson.

Patterson has been moved onto the team’s new Fujitsu V8 Supercars Series entry, to be driven by Chaz Mostert at the season ending Sandown and Homebush events.

Small had spent the first nine events of the season engineering the #16 Kelly Racing Commodore of David Reynolds before making the switch to FPR in late September.

While initial plans had seen Small destined to spend the remainder of the year in a workshop-based design role, the move to race engineering duties coincides with persistent talk that Reynolds will replace Dumbrell in the #55 next season.

Dumbrell says that Small will bring new set-up ideas to the table.

“I haven’t had anything to do with James before – I’ve only really worked with him since he came to our team last month,” Dumbrell, who took his first career podium at Symmons Plains last year, told Speedcafe.com.

“It was disappointing not to finish the year with Dave, especially after being together for over 18 months, but the team has decided to make a change for internal reasons.

“I’m looking forward to some fresh ideas from James. He has been working on our car as an additional help with data and strategy, so he’s not a total stranger to my car.”

Meanwhile at Kelly Racing, Peter Craik has taken over as Reynolds’ race engineer after Shaun Hockey filled the position at Bathurst and the Gold Coast.

Racing action kicks off at Symmons Plains tomorrow with four practice sessions.

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