Super Black calm on V8 Supercars REC prospects
Super Black Racing principal Paul Radisich insists there is ‘no massive rush’ to secure a Racing Entitlements Contract for the team to race under next year.
The first-year squad, whose entry is prepared by Prodrive Racing Australia, is currently utilising DJR Team Penske’s second REC.
With the Queensland-based outfit yet to decide whether it will require the license for its own expansion in 2016, an air of uncertainty surrounds Super Black’s future.
The Kiwi operation missed out on securing the 26th REC during a recent tender process, which was won by Triple Eight Race Engineering.
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Radisich stresses that Super Black remains focussed on locking down commercial support to help the team continue next year, having to date been bankrolled by owner Tony Lentino.
“It (the REC tender) has not changed anything for us, we’re still working hard to get our program together for next year,” Radisich told Speedcafe.com.
“As far as the license goes, we’ll just move on to plan two and see what’s available.
“I don’t think anything is closed off with DJR, they’re still a little undecided for next year.
“So at the moment that’s still there and we’ll see what materialises as far as licenses go over the next two or three months.”
Radisich confirmed that Lentino, who has missed the last two events while attending to his other business interests, is keen on buying a REC, rather than leasing again.
“I think it (buying) has always been the plan,” he said.
“This year being the first year has effectively been a toe-in-the-water exercise seeing how it works before moving to stage two.
“Part of that plan is to get a REC and ok, an opportunity came up (the tender), but that came and went so we’ll look at the next stage when that arises.”
V8 Supercars has made it clear that it will cap the field at 26 RECs for next year, rather than releasing the other two that remain ‘parked’ following withdrawals at the end of 2013.
Increasing the entries beyond 26 would directly hurt all the remaining REC holders, who split a proportion of the sport’s total income.
A multitude of the existing entries remain without confirmed sponsors or drivers for next season, leaving the distinct possibility of more REC movements before 2016 entries close on December 1.
“I think there’s always movement in this category,” affirmed Radisich.
“The teams change so quickly and there’s all sorts of talk out there.
“I think over the next few months things will become a lot clearer on the REC front. There’s no massive rush.”
A deal with Prodrive is also yet to be locked in, but Radisich downplayed any suggestion that Super Black will be assessing other options.
Lentino, a self-made millionaire through internet service companies, has a long-term friendship with Prodrive co-owner Rusty French, who introduced the Kiwi to the sport.
“The relationship with PRA is fantastic, everyone is really happy with the situation there, but we just haven’t got to that stage of looking at the nuts and bolts,” said Radisich.
“I’d expect that’ll be over the next couple of months.”