V8 Supercars has confirmed the entries for three wildcards at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 from October 9-12.
As previously reported the the New Zealand-backed Super Black entry will run a fifth Falcon out of the Ford Performance Racing stable, utilising the factory team’s Dunlop Series crew.
The Dragon squad has been given approval to field two Holden Commodores, one of which will also run in the Wilson Security Sandown 500 from September 12-14.
Dragon, which will be given support by Garry Rogers Motorsport, is using the squad’s two former 2013-spec Car of the Future Commodores.
Both the Super Black and Dragon entries are yet to outline specifics of their campaigns, including driver line-ups.
Dragon 344×208 Three wildcards confirmed for Bathurst 1000
Kristian Lindbom with one of Dragon’s ex-GRM Holdens
Kiwi businessman Tony Lentino has backed the Super Black project and says the wildcard is the perfect preparation for a full-time campaign in 2015.
“I am a proud Kiwi and have a passion for motorsport so being able to create a team and bring the black and silver New Zealand colours back into the sport gives me great pride,” he said.
“Bathurst is the greatest motor race in our region and is as iconic in New Zealand as it is in Australia.
“It is the best place for us to make our debut and will be a great sounding board to a potential full-time entry in the series.”
FPR team principal Tim Edwards added: “The concept of helping to bring on the next generation is commendable and the team will add another interesting point of difference to a race that captures everyone’s attention on both sides of the ditch.”
Dragon has just two Dunlop Series outings to its name thus far, campaigning Tim Macrow at Winton and Townsville.
The team will expand to two Commodores at the next round of the second tier series at the Coates Hire Ipswich 300 from August 1-3, where Kristian Lindbom and Ben Schoots have been nominated as drivers.
The squad’s boss Tony Klein admits he had been working with GRM since May on a wildcard effort.
“We have been working with the team at Garry Rogers Motorsport on our wildcard entry since May this year,” he said.
“Our team is hoping that our campaign is a catalyst and stepping stone to further opportunities within the V8 Supercar competition.”
If all goes to plan, fledgling New Zealand V8 Supercar team Super Black Racing’s wildcard entry into the 2014 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, announced this morning, will be the start of something much bigger.
Team owners Tony Lentino and Andrew Hiskens are intending to continue on and enter the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship and are also keen for SBR (Super Black Racing) to contest the Dunlop Series.
The cars will be raced by up and coming New Zealand drivers and Lentino and Hiskens attended the Castrol Townsville 500 – Driven By TAFE Queensland to meet and interview potential candidates.
They were also guests of Ford Performance Racing, which will provide the Ford Falcon FG II and crew for SBR’s Bathurst attack. FPR will also be the Kiwi team’s engineering supplier for its planned full-time program.
“Partly what we are doing now is getting the right team selection,” Lentino confirmed to v8supercars.com.au. “We do not want to do this half-baked, we want to do this properly.”
Drivers and team personnel will be announced closer to Bathurst, one of those drivers expected to continue on with SBR, if it was to run in 2015 in the V8 Supercars Championship.
The Dunlop development series driver will most likely be drawn from a New Zealand domestic motor racing series.
The role of legendary Kiwi driver Paul Radisich, who was the face of SBR when the plan was first revealed publicly earlier this year, has yet to be finalised.
The two New Zealand businessmen want the team to be embraced by their fellow countryman as a national brand and see that as crucial to it becoming a long term force in V8 Supercars.
“It depends on how well we perform and how well the nation supports us,” said Lentino. “The feedback we are getting is phenomenal.
“We don’t want to rush it, but if we get the structure right, New Zealand hasn’t got anything like this.”
The co-owners also see the commercial support of NZ companies as crucial for the longer term and the expansion of the Super Black brand into wider sporting fields.
Lentino, a web millionaire, and Hiskens, an Auckland commercial property developer, confirmed they have committed to providing the initial backing for SBR. Lentino is the majority partner.
“Initially it will (primarily) be my finances but then it depends on how well the supporters get behind it,” said Lentino. “We have a number of other interested parties wanting to contribute.”
Added Hiskens: “It’s a unique opportunity for New Zealand brands to get onboard and support it and that will help seed it into other aspects of the sporting community and give it some longevity.”
Lentino revealed he harbours the dream of expanding to a two car team in the V8 Supercars Championship as soon as 2016 if support from New Zealand is strong.
“You have to start somewhere,” he said. “We will start with one car but if we get traction, if we get the country behind us whose to say in 2016 we won’t have two cars running.”
The connection between Super Black and FPR was primarily established because of a friendship of more than 20 years between Lentino and FPR co-owner Rusty French.
“The Rusty and Tony relationship is why we are doing it,” Lentino said. “I wouldn’t be doing it, I wouldn’t be going there full stop if I didn’t know this man (French).
A New Zealand backed team has not contested the V8 Supercars Championship since Team Kiwi Racing’s involvement ceased in 2009. It had a brief technical relationship with FPR in 2007 when Radisich was the team’s driver.
Wednesday 16 July 2014 14:00
By: V8 Supercars