V8 Supercars has launched a tender for a Racing Entitlements Contract ahead of the 2016 championship season, with a view to expanding the field to 26 full-time entries.
The REC in question is that surrendered by South Australian businessman James Rosenberg last November, after he decided to exit his partnership with the Walkinshaw Racing stable. The outfit had been running rookie driver Nick Percat in a #222 Heavy Haulage sponsored Holden Commodore (pictured top).
Interested parties are asked to formally register their expressions of interest to V8 Supercars by no later than April 24.
“Today, V8 Supercars is launching a market tender of a surrendered Racing Entitlement Contract (REC) ahead of the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship season,” a statement from V8 Supercars reads.
“A REC entitles a party to race one car in each Championship event and one REC is currently being tendered for parties to compete in the 2016 Championship season and beyond.
“As arguably one of the most revered and professional motorsport categories in the world, V8 Supercars has already had interest from parties to purchase this REC.”
The most obvious candidate for this REC would be the Triple Eight Racing team, which has confirmed it will expand to a three-car operation next season after signing Tekno Autosports driver Shane van Gisbergen to its roster.
Another team possibly on the lookout for its own REC would be the new Super Black Racing squad, which operates on a REC leased from the DJR Team Penske outfit.
V8 Supercars had actually launched a tender process for three RECs last season, which received no formal bids despite allegedly strong interest – so the series claimed – from a number of parties.
The tender process was itself subsequently the trigger for an ugly legal battle between V8 Supercars and the Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport squad, which saw the Victorian team successfully re-claim its second REC which it had surrendered to the category in the 2013-2014 off-season.
In a fitting conclusion, the reclaimed REC was used to run Percat in 2015, who was the original victim of James Rosenberg’s decision to shut down his satellite team.
V8 Supercars has two other surrendered RECs in its possession – those formally campaigned by Tony D’Alberto Racing and Triple F Racing, both handed back at the end of the 2013 season – which will remain parked indefinitely.
Image via Christian Hartung