The Blue Oval’s official factory team, Ford Performance Racing confirmed the operation had been bought by Rod Nash and Rusty French.
Nash, who had run the Bottle-O Falcon as a satellite car to the FPR team for the previous few seasons and long-time competitor and identity French secured the team from Prodrive Racing Australia, a business run by David Richards’ English-based Prodrive operation since 2003.
Ford Australia fully supports the ownership shift with Speedcafe.com breaking the story last Friday. CLICK HERE for original news story.
Tim Edwards will continue as FPR’s team principal and be responsible for the daily running of the Melbourne-based squad.
“Rusty and I are pleased we’ve been able to acquire a business as strong as FPR which is not only an icon of Australian sport, but one of this country’s leading specialist engineering firms,” Nash said.
“In the last few years I’ve watched FPR grow from strength to strength and to see so many talented people from so many different industries working together is a real credit to Tim and the entire team.
“We are making a long-term investment in a great local business which allows us to assist with developing all aspects of the team.
“But at the heart of it Rusty and I are both keen racing enthusiasts so to now own this team makes us both very proud. We are committed to a long and successful future for the Ford brand.”
Edwards is not foreseeing any major internal structural changes despite the change in ownership.
“We welcome Rod and Rusty with open arms as they are two men very committed to ensuring our team continues to be successful,” Edwards said.
“They are not only extremely passionate about racing but both are very successful businessmen in their own right so I look forward to the fresh approach they can provide us across all facets of the team.
“Rod will certainly play a more active role, though for our engineers and race crew it will be business as usual as we continue our preparations for the 2013 season.”
FPR will continue to be part of the Prodrive family and its strong strategic and technical links with the company remain unchanged.
“We are delighted to pass our ownership of Ford Performance Racing to Rod Nash and Rusty French. Rod has been a tremendous partner to the team over many years,” said Prodrive chairman and chief executive, David Richards.
“Last season was the most successful in the 10 year history of FPR and we are pleased to be handing it over in such good competitive and commercial health, reinforced at the end of last year by the announcement of a major new partnership with Pepsi.
“I would like to pass on Prodrive’s appreciation and thanks to the FPR team members, Ford Australia, all of FPR’s current and past commercial partners and, of course, to the FPR fans, who make V8 Supercars one of the finest racing series in the world.”
V8 Supercars CEO David Malone said the series endorsed the change in ownership.
“The FPR brand is one of the most prestigious in world motorsport and an Australian sporting icon,” Malone said.
“As astute businessmen with a lifetime of motorsport history and success, Rod and Rusty will take the team to the next step after just missing out in 2012.”
FPR is coming off the back of its most successful ever V8 Supercars season with 11 wins, 11 pole positions and 35 podiums as all three of its factory-prepared Fords finished in the top 10 of the championship.