2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series - Driver and Team Changes

Driver and Team Changes

Ford announced that from 2009, it would only offer financial support for Ford Performance Racing and Stone Brothers Racing, having previously provided funding for Triple Eight Race Engineering, Dick Johnson Racing, Britek Motorsport, Paul Cruickshank Racing and Ford Rising Stars Racing. The remaining Ford backed teams retained levels of parts and in-kind support.

Similarly Holden announced several teams would be cut from their financial support budget, with Garry Rogers Motorsport, Perkins Motorsport, Sprint Gas Racing and Rod Nash Racing also losing their direct funding, although like the Ford counterparts they would still receive technical and parts assistance. The new Kelly Racing Team was to receive the funding previously given to HSV Dealer Team.

The works Toll Holden Racing Team remained at two cars, but a secondary two-car team was set up under the Walkinshaw Performance banner. Racing Entitlements Contracts were purchased from Paul Weel Racing, which had closed at the end of 2008, and the 30th franchise from the former Walden Motorsport team. Will Davison replaced the retiring Mark Skaife alongside Garth Tander at Toll HRT while Paul Dumbrell was signed to drive the Autobarn-backed number 10 Walkinshaw Performance entry, with David Reynolds rounding up the line-up in a Bundaberg Red-backed entry.

Also expanding to three cars was Stone Brothers Racing with Jason Bright folding his own Britek Motorsport operation to utilise one of his team franchises for SBR's expansion. Bright started the season in a BF Falcon, before switching mid-season to a new FG Falcon. Shane Van Gisbergen continued in the lead SP Tools-sponsored car in an FG Falcon alongside Alex Davison who replaced the departing James Courtney in an Irwin Tools sponsored car. Courtney joined Steven Johnson at Dick Johnson Racing.

The second Paul Weel Racing, (ex-Ford Rising Stars Racing) franchise was used to start a new race team, Team IntaRacing, based in Southport. It utilised a Triple 8 Race Engineering sourced BF Falcon and equipment and was centred around former Britek driver, Marcus Marshall with funding coming from new V8 Supercar sponsor Intabill. The Intabill Access Card sponsorship was pulled from the car shortly before the Hamilton 400 but Marshall vowed the sponsorless team would continue. The team subsequently collapsed and the Racing Entitlement Contract was absorbed by V8 Supercar Australia.

Another new team in 2009 was Kelly Racing, formed by John and Margaret Kelly utilising the franchises from the defunct HSV Dealer Team running Holden Commodores for their sons, Todd and Rick Kelly. A four-car superteam was established, with the second pair of franchises being sourced from Perkins Motorsport. The third and fourth drivers were announced as Todd Kelly's 2008 team mate Jack Perkins (supported by Dodo Internet) and Dale Wood. Wood was replaced after the Hidden Valley weekend with Mark McNally taking over the #16 Commodore for the Townsville 400.

Jason Bargwanna returned to a full-time drive joining Greg Murphy at Sprint Gas Racing taking the place of Jason Richards. Bargwanna spent a season on the sidelines after WPS Racing folded prior to the 2008 V8 Supercar season. Jason Richards was confirmed as Andrew Jones' replacement at Team BOC.

Michael Patrizi joined Fabian Coulthard as the drivers of a revamped Wilson Security Racing (PCR) in 2009. PCR expanded from a one-car team by leasing a franchise from Jason Bright's team for Patrizi to run the #333 BF Falcon alongside Coulthard in a Triple Eight Race Engineering-built FG Falcon, backed by Wilson Security.

Supercheap Auto Racing announced the identity of their new driver as graduation Fujitsu Series driver Tim Slade. Slade replaced Paul Morris who announced his retirement at the end of the 2008 season.

Team Kiwi Racing finalised a deal for the 2009 season to run a Paul Morris Motorsport Holden Commodore. Bankruptcy proceedings involving Team Kiwi Racing team principal, David John, meant for an uncertain future and the team was unable to prepare adequately for the 2009 season. The franchise was run on Team Kiwi Racing's behalf by Paul Morris Motorsport for the first two events of the year while the situation was clarified, thus avoiding approximately $150,000 fines for each race meeting they might have been absent, with former Carrera Cup racer Dean Fiore in the driving seat. V8 Supercar Australia subsequently seized TKR's Racing Entitlement Contract in order that it be sold or leased. It was sold to Fiore, who completed the season under the Triple F Racing banner. The racing number was changed for Triple F's second outing from #021 to #12.

V8 Supercar Australia announced four wildcards entries into the two 'enduro' events (L&H 500 and Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000). The four teams selected from those who made submissions were all competitors in the second-tier Fujitsu V8 Supercar Series, namely: Greg Murphy Racing, MW Motorsport, Sieders Racing Team and Sonic Motor Racing Services.

Greg Murphy Racing ran a VE Commodore built by their sister-team Tasman Motorsport with Fujitsu series regular Sam Walter named as one of the drivers. Taz Douglas was later named as the second driver.

The family-run Sieders Racing Team used the 2006 Bathurst 1000 winning Triple Eight BF Falcon for brothers Colin and David Sieders. Subsequently Colin Sieders withdrew citing imminent surgery and was replaced with V8 Ute Series racer Andrew Fisher.

Sonic Motor Racing Services ultimately withdrew their entry and V8 Supercar Australia decided not to allow them to be replaced with another team.

Read more about this topic:  2009 V8 Supercar Championship Series

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