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Tasman Motorsport quits V8 racing


V8 supercar team Tasman Motorsport, competing as Sprint Gas Racing, will disband after the Telstra 500 in Sydney next month

Tasman Motorsport has sold its 2010 Supercar licences to proposed teams being formed by Lucas Dumbrell and D’Alberto Racing.

The team’s Dandenong factory assets, including transporter, engines, tools and equipment will be on-sold to other teams.

Sprint Gas Racing says Bathurst winning drivers Greg Murphy and Jason Bargwanna are well placed to secure seats at other teams, with both in advanced stages of negotiations.

Co-Owner Kevin Murphy will take two Sprint Gas VE Commodores for use in the Fujitsu V8 Development Series at GRM next year, while Tasman key personnel, under the guidance of team chief Mike Henry, are looking to set up a race preparation facility in Melbourne, possibly in league with engine man Royce McCort.

Tasman’s 24 year lineage dates back to 1986 when Lansvale owners Steve Reed and Trevor Ashby appeared as privateers in pit lane in a VK Commodore, winning the Privateers Cup in 1988. The duo subsequently made 16 Bathurst starts to hold the record for most starts by a single combination in the history of the race.

Under Tasman ownership, the team achieved memorable results with runner-up finishes at Bathurst in 2005 and 2008 and third place in the 2005 Sandown 500.

Fulltime drivers over the period also included Cameron McConville, Jason Richards and Jamie Whincup, with debut drives from Fabian Coulthard and Andrew Jones.

“It’s is a shame to end such an era in the sport, but, our business model would not support the sporting success that we desired,” said Tasman Co-Owner Tim Miles.

“During the period of our ownership, the team has showed promise – generally in the enduros – and we were gutted to come so close – but still miss out on a pair of podiums at Bathurst this year, with the Skaifey and Murph car as well as Bargs and Noske.

“The fact remains that our structure was not going to allow us to grow into a team that consistently challenged for podiums, in such a competitive environment that is V8s.

“In 2009 Tasman Motorsport spent less than we earned, however, unfortunately if you control your expenditure to match (or be less than) your income in this category, you are not always going to be competitive,” said Tim Miles.

“So to be competitive we needed to grow our income. For us to grow our income we needed to attract new customers – which required us to be more competitive.

“Due to these business dynamics we were exploring partnering with another team (Paul Cruickshank Racing) and during these negotiations Tasman was approached by a couple of third parties who made us offers for our business that we just couldn’t refuse.

“As such we sold the team and want to thank the Kiwis for the great support (including our staff, drivers and sponsors) and hope to make them all proud over the last two rounds of the Championship.”

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