Confirmed in AA today is a fundamental policy shift by Ford Racing towards major support for a select number of Ford teams.
The article states direct quotes from Mr Polites that SBR & FPR are the only 2 teams thus far likely to retain Ford support in a significant way in 2004 and 5 years beyond.
This is at odds with the curious Howard Marsden plan which saw small dollars spread across many teams in the hope that one of them would get up every week, and it didnt matter which one it was. Doesnt make for a championship attack, just a load of uncoordinated race wins.
The bigger question it raises, and we talked about this in the last few weeks on here, is what happens to the other teams. The new 888-Briggs, BJR, DJR, SER, Thexton, PLR, LMS all seem to be in the process of either missing out completely on Ford bucks, or indeed reduced to levels lower than in 2003.
My question would be whether these teams likely to miss out can survive without manufacturer dollars, considering some of them have been sucking up Ford money for many years... is a switch to Holden on the cards for some or all of these guys??
Raises more questions than it answers methinks... but certainly the right move... rewards the best Ford team of the last 3 years, and the owner of hotcar division FPV....
I have read the article in todays Auto Action . Here is another quote. "While FPR and SBR will lead the attack it isn't clear what other teams will be included. Dick Johnson Racing and Brad Jones Racing are believed to be under consideration for contracts , but the remaining Ford teams look set to miss out as Ford streamlines it's support." What this article is all about is Ford offering contracts to teams , something it has not done in the past. FPR has had a contract since it's inception. Stone Bro's has one on the table ,the rest of the teams nothing yet.
It's a shame for the smaller Ford teams, but at the same time good for SBR, which have proved to be one of the top 2 teams the last couple of years, and to FPR which are gathering up technologies for an all out assault when properly established (apparently have only had 1 test session inbetween races all year?).
Ford only knows how much dollars can be distributed where. It would be good for at least DJR, BJR, and Ellery to recieve funding as if the supported teams do crash out, there are no top-line representatives. But with dollars heavily spent there may be not enough to go around, maybe they can reach an agreement to distribute setups and data sharing between the smaller teams so that at least they have a chance of being up there
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