Russell Ingall has announced he will join the Walkinshaw Performance Racing team’s ranks for the 2012 season, confirming a much-expected split with Paul Morris Racing, with whom he has been racing for the past four seasons.
The deal will also see Ingall’s main sponsor, automotive retailer SuperCheap Auto, move along with him to paste their livery on his #74 Holden Commodore.
“For me, I have raced against the Walkinshaw teams for many years and, to be honest, I hated them – if it wasn’t for them I would have won three more championships,” the 2005 series champion said.
“At the same time, I’ve always had the utmost respect for the organisation and how it goes about its business of winning races – I am truly honoured to be joining such a professional racing team.
“I’ve always said I am not in the sport to make up numbers. I enjoy racing hard and winning. The winning has eluded me for the last few years and I want to get back into the habit.
“With today’s announcement, SuperCheap Auto and Walkinshaw Racing are giving me a fantastic opportunity and I know I have the drive to make 2012 a great success.”
Ingall, 47, currently sits 18th in the championship standings, with a best finish of fifth at the second race at Hidden Valley.
The announcement also means that the team’s current driver, New Zealander Fabian Coulthard (cousin to former F1 driver David), is on the driver market, despite holding a valid contract with the team for the 2012 season. The Bundaberg Racing driver lies 14th in the championship standings.
It is rumoured that Coulthard will either be retained by the team to co-drive at endurance events, or be loaned out to another outfit.
[Images via LAT]