Oldest V8 team saved by restructure

Last updated 11:14 13/11/2012
Dick Johnson Racing
MARK THOMPSON/ Getty

Dick Johnson Racing sought a new sponsor after Jim Beam withdrew.

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Motorsport icon Dick Johnson believes he’s secured the long-term future of his V8 Supercars team after an ownership restructure.

Johnson has retained the majority ownership of his seven-time championship-winning team, but will sit on a three-man board of directors with businessmen Steve Brabeck and Maurie Pickering.

The three-time Bathurst winner said the deal meant his team can continue competing in the V8 Supercars championship and he was also able to maintain his own long association with the Ford brand.

‘‘Today, we signed a Heads of Agreement between Steve, Maurie and  myself for the future of DJR, which will disperse all the rumours we are dead and buried,’’ Johnson said.

‘‘We’ve been in the dark a long time, but it’s now looking very bright at the end of the tunnel.

‘‘We’re currently preparing three Ford Falcon Car Of the Future chassis for 2013 and look forward to getting out on track next year.’’

The news ends months of speculation over the future of Dick Johnson Racing, which made its competitive debut in 1970 and is the oldest team competing in the V8s championship.

Worries that Ford’s scaling back of its investment in the sport and last Friday’s announcement that Jim Beam would not continue as the team’s major sponsor contributed to concerns about the team’s longevity.

But Johnson said the deal will enable the team to run three cars in 2013 as well as two cars in the lower-tier development series.

Pickering said he was hopeful the new structure will allow the team to regain the form that won it the 2010 championship with James Courtney behind the wheel.

‘‘We are very excited about the opportunity we all have,’’ he said.

‘‘Our aim is to bring the brand of Dick Johnson Racing back to where it should be, which is winning.’’

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