Tickford Racing has released a statement in an attempt to ease speculation surrounding the future of Mark Winterbottom.
Out of contract at the end of the season, Winterbottom’s future has been the talk of the paddock this week.
It has been suggested that the 2015 Supercars champion could be set for a move to Preston Hire Racing.
The prospect of Winterbottom leaving the Ford squad was unknown by the team until earlier this week.
Team boss Tim Edwards had no official comment to make on the speculation when he was quizzed by Speedcafe.com yesterday.
In response to the situation, Tickford has today moved to clarify its position with the 2013 Bathurst winner, claiming that it will ‘finalise’ discussions with its driver after this weekend.
“Tickford Racing would like to address this week’s speculation of Mark Winterbottom’s future with the team,” the statement read.
“We have enjoyed a tremendous and immensely successful partnership with Frosty over the last 13 seasons and we have been in discussion to see that partnership continue.
“Following this weekend’s event we will be meeting with Mark to finalise those discussions.
“No further comment will be made on the matter this weekend.”
Winterbottom has distanced himself from the rumours.
“I don’t buy into all the rumours, all the drama that goes on,” he told AAP.
“It causes a tension that’s not needed.
“We’ve come here to try and win the race in Falcon.
“Do it proud and send it off the way it should be.”
Winterbottom has not finished lower than sixth in the championship since joining his current team in 2006, when it was known as Ford Performance Racing.
He currently lies 12th in the standings with a second place at Barbagallo in Race 11 the highlight of his season.