Ingall to Walkinshaw Racing for 2012

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Paul Morris Motorsport’s (PMM) Russell Ingall and title sponsor Supercheap Auto will move to Walkinshaw Racing in 2012, replacing Fabian Coulthard and Bundaberg in the third Holden factory-supported entry.

 

The 47-year-old Ingall will drive the #74 Supercheap Auto Racing Holden Commodore in 2012 (1974 the year the first Supercheap Auto store started trading), in what’s expected to be his final season of full-time driving.

 

“I have raced against the Walkinshaw teams for many years and, to be honest, I hated them – if it wasn’t for them I would have won three more championships,” Ingall says.

“At the same time, I’ve always had the utmost respect for the organisation and how it goes about its business of winning races – I am truly honoured to be joining such a professional racing team.

“I’ve always said I am not in the sport to make up numbers. I enjoy racing hard and winning. The winning has eluded me for the last few years and I want to get back into the habit.

“With today’s announcement, Supercheap Auto and Walkinshaw Racing are giving me a fantastic opportunity and I know I have the drive to make 2012 a great success.”

 

Bathurst 1000 winner Nick Percat is expected to replace Ingall in the factory entry for 2013, following another season in the Development Series and as endurance co-driver with Garth Tander, with Ingall stepping back into the co-driver role.

 

Supercheap Auto’s deal with Walkinshaw is multi-year, leaving PMM after a four-year stint together with Ingall.

 

“Our new agreement with Supercheap Auto is part of our commitment to build stronger commercial partnerships and I believe this will set a benchmark within our company,” says the team’s Racing Operations Manager, Mike Henry.

“Russell Ingall is one of the superstars of V8 Supercars, a hard-working, unique, tough-as-nails character and a true fan favourite.

“He has experience that just cannot be bought and will be a valuable addition to our team. We are delighted to have him on board.”

 

The announcement leaves Coulthard, who reportedly has a one-year deal remaining with the team, out of the seat he has held for the last two seasons.

 

This morning he tweeted: “Did the @v8supercars silly season just get a whole heap sillier?”

 

While he could stay with the team as an enduro co-driver, it’s likely he will be released to another Holden team, with openings at PMM (assuming they continue to run two cars), Garry Rogers Motorsport and Brad Jones Racing. The latter is considered the likely destination for the Kiwi, replacing either Jason Bargwanna or Karl Reindler.

 

With Ingall and Lee Holdsworth (heading to Stone Brothers Racing) confirming their 2012 moves, the focus of the silly season now switches to Dave Reynolds, who is trying to secure a release from Kelly Racing to replace the retiring Paul Dumbrell at the Ford factory-supported entry at Rod Nash Racing, with Coulthard joining Alex Davison in searching for a seat.

 

Walkinshaw Racing will be Ingall’s fourth team in V8 Supercars, following spells with Perkins Engineering, Stone Brothers Racing and PMM.