Last weekend was – for many motorsport fans – spent focusing on the events at Monaco and Indianapolis, but there was also a crucial piece of news broken in the V8 Supercars landscape.
As we had predicted last week, the underperforming Dick Johnson Racing team has lost one of its Racing Entitlement Contracts for the 2013 season to rival squad Ford Performance Racing, effectively reducing it to a three-car operation.
Former DJR co-owner Charlie Schwerkolt – who had been leasing his #18 REC to Dick Johnson Racing since the team’s ownership was restructured at the end of 2010 – has since announced that he will take this REC to the factory-backed Ford Performance Racing outfit, which has won nine of the eleven races run to-date in 2012.
The move has been in the rumour mill for sometime and it’s hardly surprising given Dick Johnson Racing’s woeful form since it expanded from a two-car operation to four cars during the 2011-12 off-season, bringing on Dean Fiore and Steve Owen, whose respective RECs are being leased to the team by Fiore and Paul Morris Motorsport.
Between DJR’s quartet of drivers – which also includes veteran driver Steven Johnson and V8 sophomore James Moffat – the team has netted just four top-ten finishes (Johnson and Own have two apiece), with Johnson best-placed in the Drivers’ Championship standings in fourteenth place.
The team has since issued a statement declaring its intention of remaining as a four-car operation for the 2013 season, when the new ‘Car of the Future’ regulations come in to play.
“Dick Johnson Racing remains focussed on completing the current V8 Supercars Championship Season,” the statement reads.
“We continue to review our options for next year and beyond, but are intent on continuing to operate as a four-car team, based out of the Dick Johnson Racing Headquarters in Stapylton.”
But to do that, it will need to source another REC, something that’s no easy feat…