Prodrive Racing Australia has confirmed that Charlie Schwerkolt has parted ways with the team ahead of the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship.
PRA CEO Tim Edwards says that his team has come to a “mutually agreeable settlement” with Schwerkolt in order to end their three-year deal early.
The agreement is understood to include Schwerkolt’s Falcon chassis remaining at Prodrive.
“We had every intention of fulfilling the final year of our agreement but Charlie came to me and asked to be released from his final year,” said Edwards.
“We were reluctant but he has business-related reasons and we’ve reached a mutually agreeable settlement so we are ending our collaboration one year short.”
The exit of Schwerkolt will see PRA’s new customer, Super Black Racing, pair with The Bottle-O sponsored entry in the V8 Supercars pitlane.
As previously reported, the Tony Lentino-owned Super Black will be run from PRA’s Melbourne headquarters, utilising the Racing Entitlements Contract owned by DJR Team Penske’s Steve Brabeck.
Schwerkolt’s exit has ensured that paddock disagreement over the ability for PRA to add Super Black to its fold as a fifth car has been rendered obsolete.
“We’re looking forward to having the Super Black entry as part of our four-car line-up this season and after a successful outing together at Bathurst last year we know the basics are there for a
competitive season,” said Edwards.
“The team will enjoy all the same resources as our other three entries and we’re sure there will be some good internal rivalry with our Kiwi mates.”
Lentino, whose Falcon will be driven by Kiwi Andre Heimgartner, says that the Super Black concept has garnered strong support on both sides of the Tasman.
“We have been blown away from the amount of support we’ve received from people all around the world, including our Australian fans,” Lentino continued.
“They have responded to us so favourably and we’re stoked about that.
“Although we are convinced that the friendly New Zealand-Australia banter will be greater than ever.”