2012 V8 Supercars grid far from sorted
Next year’s V8 Supercars Championship grid remains far from sorted, despite just three weeks remaining until the end of the 2011 season.
While Lee Holdsworth and Russell Ingall have recently announced their moves to IRWIN Racing and Walkinshaw Racing respectively, the exact make-up of a further 10 seats remains unconfirmed.
Of the those yet to confirm their plans, Paul Morris Motorsport appears to hold the biggest key to the make-up of the 2012 grid.
According to a PMM spokesperson, its first preference is to campaign two cars in next year’s championship.
However, Speedcafe.com understands that a myriad of other possibilities exist, with leasing a Racing Entitlements Contract to Tekno Autosports while continuing to run one car from its Norwell-base a possibility.
It is believed that entering a car prepared from Dick Johnson Racing’s stable is also an option currently being discussed, should PMM decide to close its own workshop.
That scenario could see DJR preparing as many as four entries, with Dean Fiore understood to be well on the way to inking a deal with the iconic Ford team.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s story on Fiore’s future with Dick Johnson Racing.
Jonathon Webb has long expressed a desire to expand his Tekno Autosports team, and if it does secure a PMM REC, there also appears a chance it could secure two of PMM’s current Triple Eight-designed Commodore VEs.
At Kelly Racing, the team says that its current contract dispute with David Reynolds remains unresolved. Reynolds has been heavily linked to replace Paul Dumbrell at The Bottle O Racing team.
Should Reynolds gain a release, current Fair Dinkum Sheds driver Karl Reindler has been rumoured to be his replacement in the #16 Commodore.
Also at Kellys, there has been no confirmation of Greg Murphy’s future at the team, although it is expected he will be retained in the #11 Pepsi Max Crew Commodore VE.
At Brad Jones Racing, there could be as many as two changes. Jason Bright is the only confirmed driver, while Fabian Coulthard emerging as a likely contender for the #14 seat.
The seat in the third car, potentially vacant if Reindler leaves, may need a pilot that can bring some level of sponsorship.
Holdsworth’s replacement at Garry Rogers Motorsport is also one of the most talked about seats that is yet to be confirmed, with team owner Garry Rogers maintaining that he has yet to make a decision on the matter.
Paddock speculation is pointing to the possibility of either Daniel Gaunt and Alex Davison in the #33 seat, alongside current driver Michael Caruso.
Meanwhile, there are several unknowns at Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport, which has not locked in its driver, sponsor or chassis line-up for 2012.
Current LDM driver Warren Luff is being touted as a possible endurance co-driver for Craig Lowndes at TeamVodafone, while the retiring Paul Dumbrell is firming as the most likely man to drive with Jamie Whincup in the team’s second entry.
Lucas Dumbrell told Speedcafe.com in Tasmania that his chassis options, which have been narrowed down to sticking with his current Walkinshaw Racing Commodore or purchasing a Triple Eight-build car, will be dictated by sponsorship.
See below for the 2012 grid as it currently stands
|2||Garth Tander||Walkinshaw Racing||Walkinshaw Racing||VEII|
|3||Tony D’Alberto||Tony D’Alberto Racing||Ford Performance Racing||FG|
|4||Lee Holdsworth||Stone Brothers Racing||Stone Brothers Racing||FG|
|5||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Performance Racing||Ford Performance Racing||FG|
|6||Will Davison||Ford Performance Racing||Ford Performance Racing||FG|
|7||Todd Kelly||Kelly Racing||Kelly Racing||VEII|
|8||Jason Bright||Brad Jones Racing||Walkinshaw Racing||VEII|
|9||Shane van Gisbergen||Stone Brothers Racing||Stone Brothers Racing||FG|
|11||TBA||Kelly Racing||Kelly Racing||VEII|
|14||TBA||Brad Jones Racing||Walkinshaw Racing||VEII|
|15||Rick Kelly||Kelly Racing||Kelly Racing||VEII|
|16||TBA||Kelly Racing||Kelly Racing||VEII|
|17||Steven Johnson||Dick Johnson Racing||Triple Eight Race Engineering||FG|
|18||James Moffat||Dick Johnson Racing||Triple Eight Race Engineering||FG|
|19||Jonathon Webb||Tekno Autosports||TBA||TBA|
|21||TBA||Brad Jones Racing||Walkinshaw Racing||VEII|
|22||James Courtney||Walkinshaw Racing||Walkinshaw Racing||VEII|
|30||TBA||Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||TBA||TBA|
|33||TBA||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Garry Rogers Motorsport||VEII|
|34||Michael Caruso||Garry Rogers Motorsport||Garry Rogers Motorsport||VEII|
|47||Tim Slade||Stone Brothers Racing||Stone Brothers Racing||FG|
|55||TBA||Ford Performance Racing||Ford Performance Racing||FG|
|74||Russell Ingall||Walkinshaw Racing||Walkinshaw Racing||VEII|
|88||Jamie Whincup||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Triple Eight Race Engineering||VEII|
|888||Craig Lowndes||Triple Eight Race Engineering||Triple Eight Race Engineering||VEII|