Australia’s oldest operating motorsport team, Dick Johnson Racing, is set to announce that it will remain a two-car team for 2014 and beyond after successfully purchasing the Racing Entitlements Contract (REC) previously owned by Paul Morris.
Our sources tell us that the team’s long-time investor, Steve Brabeck, has negotiated the purchase of the REC – all that is now required is for the V8 Supercars Championship board to rubber-stamp the deal.
The team’s 2014 plans had looked uncertain in recent times, amid the impending end of the team’s two-year lease of the REC owned by former driver Dean Fiore. Fiore had previously confirmed he would sell his license back to the championship if he could not secure a new lease for it himself.
Ahead of the 2013 season, the team halved in size to a two-car operation losing one of its own RECs to former investor Charlie Schwerkolt (who took his license to Ford Performance Racing) and a second leased REC – owned by Paul Morris – which was sold to the Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport team.
But with Tekno confirming it would not be purchasing the other Paul Morris-owned REC which he has leased to the team for the past two seasons, that opened the door for Dick Johnson Racing to put in an offer.
Once the deal is officially confirmed, it will mark the first time that Morris has not had a stake in the V8 Supercars business since 1999, and it will also end rumours that suggested he was going to reincarnate his old team.
The burly Queenslander raced as a driver/owner in the championship between 2000-2008, adding a second REC to his portfolio – which raced under the Team Kiwi Racing banner – in 2005.
His eponymous Paul Morris Motorsport concern continued as a two-car operation until the end of the 2011 season, at which point he leased the individual RECs to Dick Johnson Racing and Tekno Autosports.