Race-winning Holden V8 Supercars team Tekno Autosports has confirmed its line-up for 2014, with talented driver Shane Van Gisbergen remaining at the team along with major sponsor, V.I.P. Petfoods, in a single-car operation.
Tekno has also welcomed internationally experienced engineer and former Holden Racing Team managing director Steve Hallam as general manager.
Hallam will oversee day-to-day running of the team, working in conjunction with technical partner, Triple Eight Race Engineering, along with managing the strategic and commercial direction of the operation.
Tekno Autosports managing director Jonathon Webb said Hallam’s credentials made him an ideal candidate for the leadership position within the team, while he was also pleased to retain the winning combination of Van Gisbergen and V.I.P. Petfoods.
“Steve has a wealth of international experience, and the way HRT improved under his direction showed his capabilities,” Webb said.
“Steve’s personality, professionalism and leadership skills ensure he will be a highly-valued member of our close-knit family team.”
While Webb has stepped back from full-time driving duties this season with Tekno Autosports, he will join Van Gisbergen for the three PIRTEK Enduro Cup events at Sandown, Bathurst and the Gold Coast.
“The decision to step back from ‘full time competition’ for the upcoming season wasn’t something I took lightly, my passion is racing,” Webb said.
“We believe our approach to the 2014 Championship will allow Shane and Tekno the greatest chance at success. Shane and I are a similar height and build, so it’s very appropriate for me to partner him in the enduros.”
Hallam, who joined Tekno in February, said Van Gisbergen is among the most skilful drivers he has observed during his time in Australia.
“Shane is one of the best on the grid, and if you look at some of his performances from last year, his raw talent is clear for all to see,” Hallam said.
“He’s completely committed to moving the team forward, and is someone who can strap a car onto his back and run with it if necessary.”
Hallam, who has enjoyed a long career in both Formula One and NASCAR, compared Van Gisbergen to Kimi Räikkönen – who he previously worked with at F1 team McLaren.
“Shane is similar to Kimi in the sense that he’s a quiet guy, but shows incredible abilities behind the wheel,” he said.
Hallam also praised the Tekno outfit for its use of Triple Eight equipment.
“I have a high opinion of Tekno’s capabilities as a team. They run Triple Eight components; but most impressive is the way they get the best from that equipment.
“I have immense respect for (Triple Eight’s) Roland Dane and Ludo Lacroix and I am very much looking forward to working closely with them.”
Van Gisbergen is excited about another year with Tekno and will make his first 2014 appearance with Tekno Autosports at the sydney.com V8 Supercars Test Day on Saturday, which is free for fans to attend.
“I’m excited about the upcoming season and to again go racing with Team TEKNO V.I.P. Petfoods. I’m hoping to build upon our strong finish to the 2013 season and am optimistic that this can be my most competitive V8 campaign to date,” Van Gisbergen said.