Ford Performance Racing has undergone a change of ownership with leading Australian motorsport identities Rod Nash and ‘Rusty’ French purchasing the team from British engineering firm Prodrive.
Nash and French have acquired the Prodrive Racing Australia (trading as Ford Performance Racing) business which has been run by Prodrive since it was created in 2003.
Ford Australia, as a principal sponsor of Ford Performance Racing, fully supports the acquisition.
FPR’s management structure will be bolstered by Nash who will play a more active role in the team, overseeing and contributing to all aspects of the business.
Tim Edwards remains Team Principal and will continue to be responsible for the daily running of FPR.
Nash, an FPR customer since 2010, is pleased he and French will be able to assist in the continued growth of the team.
“Rusty and I are pleased we’ve been able to acquire a business as strong as FPR which is not only an icon of Australian sport, but one of this country’s leading specialist engineering firms,” Nash said.
“In the last few years I’ve watched FPR grow from strength to strength and to see so many talented people from so many different industries working together is a real credit to Tim and the entire team.
“We are making a long-term investment in a great local business which allows us to assist with developing all aspects of the team.
“But at the heart of it Rusty and I are both keen racing enthusiasts so to now own this team makes us both very proud. We are committed to a long and successful future for the Ford brand.”
Longstanding Team Principal Tim Edwards says despite the change in ownership the operation of the team will be unchanged.
“We welcome Rod and Rusty with open arms as they are two men very committed to ensuring our team continues to be successful,” Edwards said.
“They are not only extremely passionate about racing but both are very successful businessmen in their own right so I look forward to the fresh approach they can provide us across all facets of the team.
“Rod will certainly play a more active role, though for our engineers and race crew it will be business as usual as we continue our preparations for the 2013 season.”
FPR will continue to be part of the Prodrive family and its strong strategic and technical links with the company remain unchanged.
“We are delighted to pass our ownership of Ford Performance Racing to Rod Nash and Rusty French. Rod has been a tremendous partner to the team over many years,” said Prodrive chairman and chief executive, David Richards.
“Last season was the most successful in the 10 year history of FPR and we are pleased to be handing it over in such good competitive and commercial health, reinforced at the end of last year by the announcement of a major new partnership with Pepsi.
“Over the last decade, I have really enjoyed being part of the Australian V8 scene and developing FPR to the competitive status it enjoys today. The races are always close and the passion the Australian fans have for the FPR team and the series itself is something I have rarely seen in any other form of motorsport.
“FPR continues to be part of the Prodrive family and we retain our close technical and commercial relationship going forwards and I will personally continue to follow the team’s progress with great interest.
“I would like to pass on Prodrive’s appreciation and thanks to the FPR team members, Ford Australia, all of FPR’s current and past commercial partners and, of course, to the FPR fans, who make V8 Supercars one of the finest racing series in the world.”
V8 Supercars CEO David Malone said the series endorsed the change in ownership.
“The FPR brand is one of the most prestigious in world motorsport and an Australian sporting icon,” Mr Malone said.
“As astute businessmen with a lifetime of motorsport history and success, Rod and Rusty will take the team to the next step after just missing out in 2012.”
FPR is coming off the back of its most successful ever V8 Supercars season with 11 wins, 11 pole positions and 35 podiums as all three of its factory-prepared Fords finished in the top 10 of the championship.