Dodo Insurance Holden Commodore driver Dean Fiore is busier than a one-armed juggler as he attempts to confirm his involvement in the 2014 V8 Supercars Championship.
The 29-year old Queensland-based Western Australian is currently in negotiation with Dodo about a renewal of his current sponsorship deal, but the situation is complicated because the company has been sold to M2 Communications.
While Fiore believes the chances of Dodo renewing are good, he is unsure whether his one-year deal with Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport will be extended.
On top of that, Fiore has to decide where to place his Racing Entitlements Contract (REC), which this year is being run out of Dick Johnson Racing.
The REC is understood to be the subject of multiple enquiries.
And Fiore is hoping to have all this sorted before the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in October.
“The first thing for me is finding out where my naming rights partner is at and then I can start to build on my decision making process from there,” Fiore told v8supercars.com.au. “I need to make the decision if I am going to drive and where, and then whether I am attached to my REC or not.
“So there are a couple of elements to the way it all slots into 2014 and beyond for me.”
Fiore said he wanted to keep driving, preferably in a multi-year deal that would deliver him more career certainty than he has at the moment.
“The first person I will sit down and talk with will be (team owner) Lucas (Dumbrell), that is how I am with the business that I do. There is a lot to unfold and I want it to unfold a lot earlier than this year.”
Fiore drove for the family-owned Triple F team in his first three years in V8 Supercars and then transferred to Dick Johnson Racing for 2012. While he moved on as that team faced financial issues early in 2013, his REC stayed with the Queensland team.
“I am not happy with my recent results,” Fiore said. “Don’t get me wrong, I know I am currently not in a position to challenge for podiums, but I believe I am good enough to be in the top half most of the time.”
Fiore’s struggle for decent results in 2013 reflects the issues faced at LDM as the team has gone through painful growth to expand from one to two cars. Teammate Scott Pye has had two major crashes and Fiore’s car was badly damaged in the Darwin multi-car wreck.
The challenge of pulling new crew together and then spending too much time repairing cars has meant LDM hasn’t been able to get the best out of its Triple Eight Race Engineering Holdens after a promising start.
“LDM has done a fantastic job because it is a brand new two-car operation. I don’t think one person carried over from last year,” said Fiore. “With new teams you want things to go as smoothly as possible and it just hasn’t happened.”
Fiore hopes a test at Winton last week will be a big help to the team at the Winton 360. Red Bull Racing Australia ace Jamie Whincup and his engineer Mark Dutton attended the test.
Championship leader Whincup drove Fiore’s car and provided feedback. This followed on from Pye driving Whincup’s car at an Ipswich test.
“It should help at Winton,” said Fiore. “It is always good to have a solid hit-out before a race meeting on the track you are going to race on. It has to benefit.”