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Team Kiwi Racing races well, but Ford sponsorship ended


Kiwi team enjoys best finish of V8 Supercar season

Team Kiwi Racing has enjoyed its best finish of the V8 Supercar season, coming home in 15th place in the final race at Surfer’s Paradise on Sunday.

TKR fought up to 20th in the first race after their most solid qualifying performance of the season and were 21st in the second race today before making some major changes to the car set-up. It paid dividends as the All Black Ford worked its way through the field to finish 15th.

TKR boss David John said the performance was a real boost for his team who had been enhanced recently when he contracted additional key staff led by highly reputable motorsport engineers Dave Cato, Bruce Matthew and Craig Hasted who also help prepare the current leading car in the Fujitsu Development series across the Tasman.

With regular driver Kayne Scott unavailable and stand-in Chris Pither not recovered from the accident at Bathurst, John called in Fujitsu driver Steve Owen for the round at Surfer’s Paradise.

“We remain committed to developing New Zealand motor racing talent both in and out of the race car, as we have done for the past nine years,” Mr John said.

“We believed all along that we had a good package with this car from Triple Eight Racing. And we made a significant additional investment in getting some experienced engineers involved in our programme to work with our young New Zealand crew.

“There were no other suitably qualified New Zealand drivers available or acceptable to V8 Supercars. And it was absolutely vital that we determined just where we stood with this car and that’s why I put Steve into the car. He has shown us, our supporters and our sponsors, that this is a competitive package.

“It’s been fantastic for the whole crew. They have worked so hard this year and thought they were getting nowhere. They were amazing to get the car back on the track at Bathurst. Now there’s a feeling we are finally making some significant strides forward.

“We still have our detractors who have publicly said we are not a competitive outfit and should not be here or that we are not representing the sport in the best way. Today shows that we are competitive, that we have good and reputable people and that we are back on track. I hope those detractors have the good grace to put their hands up and recognise that.”

Mr John said the team was excited about the next round of the series in Bahrain. The team is undecided who will drive the car, although Scott is unavailable as it clashes with the New Zealand V8 championship.

Meanwhile, Ford New Zealand and Team Kiwi Racing have agreed to cease their sponsorship relationship.

In a press media release, Ford said this decision was reached mutually and the relationship between Ford and TKR remains amicable.

"Ford wishes TKR the best of luck for Gold Coast Indy and the rest of the Championship."

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