V8 Supercars privateer Charlie Schwerkolt has finally announced that he will enter into a partnership with the Walkinshaw Racing stable for the coming V8 Supercars Championship season.
The Gold Coast businessman will switch his allegiance to Holden for the upcoming season, after many years running Ford Falcons in partnership with Dick Johnson Racing and, more recently, Ford Performance Racing.
The deal means that the Walkinshaw stable will remain as a four-car operation, following the decision by fellow privateer James Rosenberg to return his Racing Entitlements Contract to V8 Supercars at the end of the 2014 season.
Schwerkolt was previously a major shareholder with Dick Johnson Racing, but the relationship between he and co-owner Dick Johnson broke down after the 2010 season, leaving Schwerkolt as owner of one of the team’s two Racing Entitlements Contracts. The REC was leased back to DJR for the 2011 and 2012 seasons, before Schwerkolt subsequently came to an agreement to partner with Ford Performance Racing in 2013.
The three-year deal was terminated after two frustrating seasons, where neither Alex Davison (2013) nor Jack Perkins (2014, pictured above) was able to show the same level of competitiveness as their fellow FPR runners.
At the time of the split, Schwerkolt had already negotiated the services of ex-Erebus Motorsport race-winner Lee Holdsworth to drive for him in 2015, and following the news of his exit from FPR, it was expect that he would team up with the Walkinshaw Racing stable and reunite with from DJR figurehead Adrian Burgess, who now heads up the factory Holden team.
“I am joining a team that is heading in the right direction, making the changes necessary to ensure long-term success in the world’s toughest touring car category,” Schwerkolt said.
“The announcement just last year of a multi-year extension to Holden’s factory support of the team is also very encouraging [and] being able to put Lee into a Walkinshaw Holden is a very exciting proposition.”
“Working with Charlie again will be fantastic, we’ve got a great team here at Walkinshaw and working with the right people is key,” Burgess added.
“Nothing less than wins for all four cars will be deemed a success for us this year.
“We spent 2014 rebuilding, and have come a long way in a short period of time. Having Charlie join the team, with Lee coming onboard as a driver ensures that the future is bright.”
2015 V8 Supercars Championship Entry List (so far):
|Triple 8 Race Engineering||Red Bull Racing Australia||1||Jamie Whincup|
|Holden Racing Team||Holden Racing Team||2||Garth Tander|
|Charlie Schwerkolt Racing (HRT)||TBA||18||Lee Holdsworth|
|Walkinshaw Racing (HRT)||Super Cheap Auto Racing||47||Tim Slade|
|Erebus Motorsport||TBA||4||Ashley Walsh|
|Prodrive Racing Australia||Team Pepsi Max Crew||5||Mark Winterbottom|
|Rod Nash Racing (PRA)||The Bottle-O Racing||55||David Reynolds|
|Super Black Racing (PRA)||Super Black Racing||111||Andre Heimgartner|
|Nissan Motorsport||Jack Daniel’s Racing||7||Todd Kelly|
|Brad Jones Racing||Team BOC||8||Jason Bright|
|Freightliner Racing||14||Fabian Coulthard|
|Britek Motorsport (BJR)||TBA||21||Dale Wood|
|DJR Team Penske||TBA||17||Marcos Ambrose|
|Garry Rogers Motorsport||Wilson Security Racing||33||Scott McLaughlin|
|Tekno Autosports||TEKNO VIP Petfoods||97||Shane van Gisbergen|
|Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport||Repair Management Racing||TBA||Nick Percat|
Image via V8 Supercars