Terry Wyhoon’s Image Racing will run two cars in the Dunlop Series next season after purchasing an ex-Stone Brothers Racing Ford from Novocastrian Motorsport.
Image Racing finished sixth in this year’s Dunlop Series standings with driver Taz Douglas, campaigning an ex-SBR Ford, FG03, that had been driven by Shane van Gisbergen in 2012.
The team’s latest purchase is FG05, which was raced by Tim Slade last year before completing the 2013 Dunlop Series in the hands of Aaren Russell.
Douglas is expecting to again combine his Dunlop Series duties with a Nissan Motorsport Pirtek Enduro Cup ride next year, while Wyhoon is now on the lookout for a second driver.
“I’ve always been keen on the economies of scale that a two-car operation provides,” said Wyhoon.
“SBR05 was the last FG Falcon built by SBR, and one of the last 2012-spec Supercars ever built.
“That now gives us the two of the last FG Falcons constructed by SBR, and with Jimmy and Matt Stone working alongside us this year, it made perfect sense to bring the car back into the fold.
“I’ve been talking to a number of pretty high profile candidates throughout the year, but with the new car coming online, the calls have been coming thick and fast,” he added of finding a driver.
“Now we have to find a driver that will work within Image Racing and work with Taz as well to put us in a position to go after the championship next year.”
Douglas ended the year with season-best race and round finishes at Sydney Olympic Park, recording second in the final race to end the weekend on the podium.
Wyhoon, whose squad also fields cars in the Kumho V8 Touring Car Series, is expecting to challenge for the title next year.
“It has been a big learning curve all year for the Dunlop teams that stepped up to the 2012-spec Supercars and to be honest it took us a little longer to get a handle on FG03 than I’d hoped,” he said.
“But by season’s end we had a really good feel for the car and Taz was arguably one of the fastest four drivers in the field.
“If we start season 2014 with all of that behind us, I would be surprised if we weren’t in the title chase all year.”
The Novocastrian team has meanwhile confirmed that Drew Russell will step down from driving next season after seven years in the Dunlop Series.
The team says that it still expects to campaign two cars, one of which will again be for the younger of the brothers, Aaren.
Aaren took FG05 to ninth in the 2013 Dunlop Series standings, two places behind Drew, who drove the team’s ex-Dick Johnson Racing Falcon FG.