Ford Australia’s racing program has lost yet another figurehead following the shock resignation of its motorsport manager Chris Styring.
Styring, a former employee at the Williams Formula One team, had spent just 22 months with the Blue Oval after moving from Tennis Australia.
Styring confirmed his resignation to Speedcafe.com at the Sydney Olympic Park Street Circuit today, but declined to comment on the situation, other than describing the split as ‘amicable’.
Officially referred to as Ford Australia’s ‘group manager motorsport sponsorship and events’, Styring was the seventh different person to be put in charge of the company’s motorsport program in the last decade.
Ford currently provides financial support to three teams in the V8 Supercars Championship – Ford Performance Racing, Stone Brothers Racing and Dick Johnson Racing.
While FPR carries the factory team mantle, it is 100% owned by British engineering firm Prodrive, and according to team principal Tim Edwards, is not concerned by Styring’s departure.
“We’re not contracted to Chris Styring, we’re contracted to the Ford Motor Company, so whatever has transpired is between Chris and the Ford Motor Company is nothing to do with us,” Edwards told Speedcafe.com.
Ross Stone told Speedcafe.com that discussions to extend SBR’s current deal with Ford will be put on hold while Styring’s replacement is sourced.
“Ford are an important partner for us,” Stone told Speedcafe.com.
“We’ve got an agreement with them until the end of next year, which brings us through until the Car of the Future.
“Now that Chris has moved on we’ll give it some time, see who we’re working with and go from there.
“We’ve probably got the longest unbroken association with Ford out of anybody in V8 racing.
“That’s something that we’re quite proud of, but we’ll have to see how it all shakes out.”
DJR, another long-time Ford fan favourite, is yet to lock in a deal with the car maker beyond the 2011 season.
The 2011 V8 Supercars Championship concludes tomorrow with Race 28 at the Sydney Telstra 500.