Walkinshaw: ‘No rush’ to secure new partners

  • 22/09/2017
  • By Stefan Bartholomaeus, Mitchell Adam
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Ryan Walkinshaw insists he is in no rush to lock down new equity partners for Mobil 1 HSV Racing amid talks with various parties including McLaren chief Zak Brown.

The future make-up of the former Holden factory team is currently the subject of rampant speculation as Walkinshaw scours the globe for investors.

Walkinshaw has been on the lookout for equity partners for over 12 months and, after exploring possible customer tie-ups, is eager to ramp-up the squad’s technical prowess.

Among those in discussions with Walkinshaw is American businessman Zak Brown, who co-owns UK-based sportscar squad United Autosports as well as running the McLaren Technology Group.

While there have been suggestions that a major announcement will come in the lead-up to the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Walkinshaw insists there is no rush.

Zak Brown Zak Brown

“I can confirm we have had some good discussions with Zak Brown and we aim to get a deal sorted by the end of the year at the latest, ideally sooner but there isn't a rush,” Walkinshaw told Supercars.com.

“Obviously, there’s a lot of speculation out there and we seem to be being connected to almost everyone in motorsport now! I wouldn't believe everything you read.

"Adding a partner or partners with additional expertise, opportunities and connections in motorsport is in the best interests of the team going forward, and I will always pursue opportunities that I believe will assist the team.”

Brown’s United Autosports currently competes in the European Le Mans Series and has previous experience in Australia through the Bathurst 12 Hour, which it entered from 2012-14.

2017 Supercars Championship Round 10.  Sandown 500, Sandown Raceway, Springvale, Victoria, Australia. Thursday 14th September to Sunday 17th September 2017. World Copyright: Daniel Kalisz Photographer Ref: Digital Image DSC_9493.NEF 

“Conversations started a couple months ago,” Brown told Supercars.com of his talks with Walkinshaw.

“If we can get the right terms agreed then it’s something we [United Autosports] would like to do and get done by the end of the year. [It’s a] great team with great history in a great racing series.”

Brown’s enthusiasm for Supercar racing includes his purchase of the 2011 Bathurst winning Holden from Walkinshaw earlier this year, shipping it to the UK.

“I haven’t driven my new beast yet, but I will give it a go on October 10 at Donnington Park,” added Brown. “I’m mega excited. [It’s a] proper racing car!”

Walkinshaw earlier this month visited McLaren’s headquarters in the UK, posting an image on social media alongside James Courtney’s manager Alan Gow and Boost Mobile boss Peter Adderton.

The US-based Adderton is among other parties to have been in talks with Walkinshaw over becoming an equity partner in the team that was started by Ryan’s late father, Tom.

Mobil 1 HSV Racing is currently enduring a tough season with Scott Pye and Courtney just 18th and 19th in points respectively.

The team has not won Bathurst since 2011, while its last championship came under the HSV Dealer Team banner four years earlier.

The Mobil 1 HSV Racing moniker was introduced this year following Holden's decision to move its factory funding and Holden Racing Team nameplate to Triple Eight.

Follow Us
Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter