New Zealand’s sole team in the V8 Supercars Championship, Super Black Racing, will be a definite starter on the grid for the 2016 season.
Almost 12 months from their first outing at Bathurst last year, Super Black Racing boss Tony Lentino today confirmed he will back the venture again in 2016.
Lentino’s commitment to the New Zealand venture this year has been total, even after finding out midway through this year that he was seriously ill. His first comment was a query if he could get his chemo treatment at the race track.
As a battler, this diagnosis was not going to keep the successful businessman down for long.
“While I am looking to slow down and make the most of life with my wife Emily and our two young daughters, I have committed to the Super Black Racing family that they will be racing in 2016.”
Super Black Racing, which is proudly based in Wellsford north of Auckland, was established because Lentino wanted New Zealand competing as a New Zealand Team, with a New Zealand driver.
“It is important to give young kiwi drivers an opportunity in the V8 Supercars Championship and a chance to mix it up with the big boys. The 2015 year has been a fantastic start for the team with Andre (Heimgartner) providing lots of thrills and plenty of reason to back black.”
Lentino wants to establish a sound business model, expanding corporate support and fan memberships to enable Super Black Racing to continue to flourish.
They will establish the Super Black Racing Foundation next year which will become the funding arm of the organisation.
“The SuperBlack Racing Foundation will protect and support my vision for a New Zealand team taking on the Aussies in the V8 Supercars Championship into the future.
Lentino will be joined by successful Auckland businessman Clark Proctor and other fellow motorsport enthusiasts in the management of the venture, to ensure that New Zealand will remain part of the V8 Supercars Championship well into the future.
“Clark has been an important contributor to New Zealand Motorsport over the years, both as an advocate of New Zealand drivers and teams and as a competitive driver. He will be a great asset to the team in the coming year,” said Lentino.
Lentino thanked former V8 Supercars driver Paul Radisich for his involvement with Super Black Racing and his mentor work with Heimgartner.
“His knowledge and expertise has been invaluable to get us this far. While Paul won’t be carrying on with Super Black in an official capacity, he will always be one of the people that believed in, and delivered, a kiwi V8 Supercars team.”
The team are currently finalising details of the Racing Entitlement Contract with V8 Supercars and the team drivers for 2016.
Super Black Racing will be hoping to build on their enterprising first season in the V8 Supercars Championship when Andre Heimgartner and Ant Pedersen team up for their second tilt at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 at Mt Panorama next week.