Further to the end of year musical chairs in the V8 Supercar circus, it’s been announced that both Jamie Whincup and Craig Lowndes have re-signed with Triple Eight/Team Vodafone until the end of 2009.
This bodes well of the Queensland-based team as they retain probably the strongest driver pairing in the sport. In addition, Lowndes’ engineer Campbell Little has opted to stay with Triple Eight in the new role of Engine Development Manager while understudy Jerome Moore slips into the car controller-engineer role with car #888.
Irwin Tools, principal sponsor to Jason Bright’s Britek Motorsport team, has renewed it’s partnership with the team until the end of 2009, with young star, Marcus Marshall to take the wheel of the #26 Falcon which carries the Irwin name. It’s to be hoped that Irwin Tools get a little more bang for their considerable bucks in 2008, given the rather poor showing Britek Motorsport had during 2007.
Finally in this brief update, it’s reasonably well known that Dick Johnson Racing, or Jim Beam Racing depending on whether you’re talking about the team sponsor or team owner, has suffered some very hard financial times of late. DJR is on the way back, but the road is hard, aided admirably by some outstanding driving performances by Steven Johnson and Will Davison over the latter half of season 2007. The finances behind these multi-million dollar race teams is always clouded, but one way they raise petty cash is through fan memberships to their respective in-house fan clubs. DJR has had at least two that I’m aware of, now the latest being Team Mates. If you get in now, even at the butt end of the year, you can still become a Foundation Member of Team Mates. The cost? Oh, a mere $199. Sure, there are benefits, like shirts, caps, individually numbered keyrings, stubby coolers and so on. You can ever get an individual guided tour behind the scenes at DJR’s workshop complex at Stapylton, just south of Brisbane, for you & three mates. But…..$199?? Last time I joined a fan club it was Craig Lowndes’ Lowndesforce in 2004. That cost $50 for the obligatory keyring, cap, etc and I only paid up for the opportunity of discounted Bathurst tickets which never eventuated anyway. $199 is way too strong for my tastes but if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool DJR follower, maybe money is no object.
Oh, and on the subject of DJR and the end of year musical chairs, do have a read through some of the DJR forums. If you enjoy reading gossip and scuttlebutt, then you’ll find it all there.