New Zealand’s sole team in the V8 Supercars championship, Super Black Racing, will be a definite starter on the grid for the 2016 season.
Almost 12 months from their first outing at Bathurst last year, team boss Tony Lentino confirmed on Friday he will continue to back the venture.
Super Black Racing, based in Wellsford north of Auckland, was established because Lentino wanted a New Zealand team with a New Zealand driver racing in the V8 Supercars.
“It is important to give young Kiwi drivers an opportunity in the V8 Supercars Championship and a chance to mix it up with the big boys,” Lentino said.
“The 2015 year has been a fantastic start for the team with Andre (Heimgartner) providing lots of thrills and plenty of reason to back black.”
Heimgartner sits 20th overall with five rounds remaining in this year’s championship, with Ant Pedersen joining him for the Bathurst 1000 next weekend.
Lentino wants to establish a sound business model, expanding corporate support and fan memberships to enable Super Black Racing to continue to flourish.
They will establish the Super Black Racing Foundation next year which will become the funding arm of the organisation, while successful Auckland businessman Clark Proctor and other fellow motorsport enthusiasts will come on board to help manage the team.
Paul Radisich won’t be continuing his role as team principal, but Lentino said the former Kiwi V8 Supercars driver’s knowledge, expertise and mentor-work with Heimgartner had been invaluable.
Lentino’s re-commitment to the New Zealand venture comes despite the news midway through this year that he was seriously ill and required chemotherapy treatment.
“While I am looking to slow down and make the most of life with my wife Emily and our two young daughters, I have committed to the Super Black Racing family that they will be racing in 2016,” he said.
The team are finalising details of the Racing Entitlement Contract with V8 Supercars and the team drivers for 2016.