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Monday, 17 October 2016 00:00

Feature: Who do you think you are?

204recfeatures

The movement of licenses amongst teams has become as vital to the silly season as driver changes; from the time the licensing system was introduced in 1999 to the 26 entries that Supercars has confirmed will go racing again in 2017.

V8X Supercar Magazine issue #93 dug through the archives to reveal the lineage of the current Supercars teams.

As the professionalism of V8 Supercars increased, there was an inevitable need to condense an oversubscribed grid. There were 39 entries at the first Adelaide 500 in 1999 and 53 starts for the Bathurst 1000 later that year.

In order to professionalise and streamline the grid, V8 Supercars introduced a licensing system that would form the foundation of the Racing Entitlement Contract (REC) structure in place today.

A Level 1 license required a team to compete at all rounds, Level 2 licenses were for part-timers and Level 3 licenses for second-tier Development Series entrants.

The original Level 1 licenses holders were: Holden Racing Team, Dick Johnson Racing, Garry Rogers Motorsport, Gibson Motorsport, Glenn Seton Racing, Perkins Engineering, Stone Brothers Racing, John Faulkner Racing, Lansvale Racing Team, Larkham Motor Sport, Longhurst Racing and Romano Racing.

Other entrants would have their Level 2 licenses elevated to Level 1 in the coming years, as the licensing system evolved to the point where there were only Level 1 entrants, required to compete at every event of the championship.

The following is a rundown of how the current teams competing in V8 Supercars link up the original license holders and the evolution of the RECs:

TRIPLE EIGHT RACE ENGINEERING

The most successful team in recent seasons had humble beginnings, as long-time racer John Briggs' privateer Briggs Motor Sport team.

Briggs Motor Sport made its V8 Supercars debut in 1997 and expanded its operation by incorporating the PAE Motorsport outfit that ran John Bowe's Caterpillar-backed entry.

Briggs also purchased a Level 1 license for 2002 from Fred Gibson, who had split with the Bob Forbes-owned 00 Motorsport, originally known as Gibson Motorsport.

Briggs sold the team in September 2003 to British outfit Triple Eight Race Engineering, who ran a two-car presence from that first outing at Sandown till last season.

Triple Eight acquired a third license from V8 Supercars for the 2016 season, the ex-James Rosenberg Racing license that had been run by Stone Brothers Racing/Erebus Motorsport and Walkinshaw Racing, handed back to the series for 2015 and previously owned by Paul Cruickshank Racing.

Cruickshank, in turn, graduated from the Development Series with a Level 2 license previously owned by Rod Nash.

TEKNO AUTOSPORTS

The Webb family-owned Tekno Autosports entered V8 Supercars with the purchase of Britek Motorsport's second license for the 2010 season; running as a third car at Dick Johnson Racing before going its own way from 2011.

The license, which was one of two former Level 2 licenses run by Britek Motorsport from 2005, was leased to Paul Cruickshank Racing for a second entry in 2009 before being sold on to the Webbs for 2010 to underpin Tekno Autosports' entry since.

Tekno Autosports ran two entries from 2012 and into 2013, using a license leased from Paul Morris Motorsport for the permitted two-year period that was sold to Dick Johnson Racing for 2014.

PRODRIVE RACING AUSTRALIA

Glenn Seton Racing entered the 1999 season with Level 1 licenses and additional support from Ford Australia, so the team was rebranded as Ford Tickford Racing.

British racing outfit Prodrive took over the team from 2003 and rebranded as Ford Performance Racing, using Glenn Seton Racing's two licenses and a leased entry from Rod Nash for its third car.

Ford Performance Racing downsized to two entries from 2004 until Nash's license returned from 2010 to expand the team back to three entries.

Nash and Rusty French now own the Prodrive Racing Australia squad, still underpinned by the two original Glenn Seton Racing licenses.

ROD NASH RACING

Former privateer entrant Rod Nash struggled to find a home for his entry with alliances with Team Brock, Ford Performance Racing, Perkins Engineering, Paul Morris Motorsport and Tony D'Alberto Racing.

Nash purchased a Level 1 license, formerly held by Team Dynamik, from Tony Longhurst in 2005. Nash settled his entry back at Ford Performance Racing from 2010, as the third car within the factory Ford stable.

Nash and Rusty French took over the ownership of Ford Performance Racing from Prodrive from 2013. And though the team that become known as Prodrive Racing Australia is now partially owned by Nash, the #55 entry retains the Rod Nash Racing identity.

SUPER BLACK RACING

After debuting as a wildcard entry at the 2014 Bathurst 1000, Super Black Racing entered the championship on a full-time basis in 2015 out of the Prodrive Racing Australia stable with a license leased from DJR Team Penske.

With DJR Team Penske taking back that license for its expansion back to two cars for 2016, Super Black Racing needed another REC to underpin its entry. Enter Walkinshaw Racing, which was looking to downsize to focus on its two Holden Racing Team entries.

Walkinshaw Racing last used the current Super Black Racing license as the #47 entry in 2015. The Walkinshaw two-car team debuted in 2009, when the Kellys took the two licenses that underpinned the HSV Dealer Team to form Kelly Racing.

One of the Walkinshaw licenses was acquired from Paul Weel Racing, while V8 Supercars reactivated the other (previously used Romano Racing).

While the Romano Racing Level 1 licenses had been sold on to Team Dynamik for 2003, Romano's Level 2 entry would eventually find its way to Walkinshaw Racing. Paul Weel Racing's two licenses were acquired from original holder, John Faulkner Racing.

Super Black Racing's founder Tony Lentino passed away in 2016, with the license being purchased by Prodrive Racing Australia co-owner Rusty French.

WALKINSHAW RACING

Walkinshaw Racing is one of two teams to still carry the same banner from when the Level 1 licenses were first handed out in 1999, along with Garry Rogers Motorsport.

Walkinshaw Racing's two entries have remained intact in that period, even if the ownership has changed hands from Tom Walkinshaw to Mark Skaife and then back to the Walkinshaw family.

Other licenses were at times run from within the same stable as the Holden Racing Team, such as the Holden Young Lions (using the Romano Racing license), Kmart Racing/HSV Dealer Team (which became Kelly Racing) and Walkinshaw Racing (its last non-Holden Racing Team license now owned by Super Black Racing).

Walkinshaw Racing has run the Holden Racing Team entries since 1990. But the Holden Racing Team name is owned by Holden and leased to Walkinshaw. It will move to Triple Eight Race Engineering in 2017 as Holden switches its factory funding to the Red Bull-backed entries.

BRAD JONES RACING

Brad Jones Racing made the switch from Super Touring to V8 Supercars in 2000, taking over the Level 1 licenses of Longhurst Racing.

The Albury-based Jones family-owned team ran two entries from 2002, taking on a third entry from 2010 with the arrival of Jason Bright's Britek Motorsport license.

The Britek license had been run independently from 2005 to 2008 after stepping up from a Level 2 license into a two-car commitment following the demise of Larkham Motorsport.

The remaining Britek entry was fielded as a customer car at Stone Brothers Racing in 2009 before the move to Brad Jones Racing the following season.

TEAM 18

The newest team on the V8 Supercars grid is underpinned by a REC that's been one of the most active in recent seasons.

The #18 belonged to Dick Johnson Racing before the licensing system began and remained with the iconic Ford team when Forklift entrepreneur Charlie Schwerkolt became part of the ownership structure.

When Schwerkolt split with Dick Johnson Racing, he took ownership of one of the team's two licenses, the #18. When his attempts to run Dick Johnson Racing's 2010-championship winner James Courtney with the license at Ford Performance Racing for 2011 failed, he instead leased the #18 back to DJR for 2011 and 2012.

Schwerkolt did eventually utilise the license by running an entry out of Ford Performance Racing in 2013 and 2014, before Super Black Racing partnered with the factory Ford team and the #18 moved to Walkinshaw Racing for 2015.

The #18 is being run as an independent entity for the first time in 2016.

NISSAN MOTORSPORT

John and Margaret Kelly took over the Kmart Racing Team following the collapse of Tom Walkinshaw Racing, which had used licenses leased from Romano Racing and John Faulkner Racing before purchasing Level 1 licenses from 00 Motorsport owner Bob Forbes in 2003.

Kmart Racing Team became the HSV Dealer Team, though the Kellys would split from Walkinshaw and take their two licenses to form Kelly Racing in 2009.

Kelly Racing joined forces with Perkins Engineering for a four-car effort, utilising the two licenses from the Kellys and Perkins Engineering's original Level 1 licenses.

Perkins Engineering had run various customer cars throughout its time in V8 Supercars, though had throughout the two licenses that formed half of the four-car Kelly Racing operation.

Larry Perkins retained ownership of the two licenses until he sold them to the Kellys in 2013, ahead of the season in which the long-time Holden team rebranded as Nissan Motorsport.

GARRY ROGERS MOTORSPORT

The now factory Volvo team has been the most stable in the V8 Supercars era, retaining a two-car presence since the licensing system came into place.

Garry Rogers Motorsport, which first entered the championship in 1996, expanded to two entries from 1998; Level 1 status for its license.

Those two licenses remain in place today, for the former Holden team that switched to Volvo Polestar S60s in 2014.

DJR TEAM PENSKE

Dick Johnson Racing was a foundation member of V8 Supercars with its famed entries, the #17 and #18, while also running the occasional customer car for Tekno Autosports, Triple F Racing and Paul Morris Motorsport.

After Charlie Schwerkolt split with the team and took the #18 elsewhere from 2013, the team leased a license from Triple F Racing (formerly an independent runner for Dean Fiore) to retain a two-car presence that season.

The Triple F Racing license then returned to Fiore, who in turn handed it back to V8 Supercars in 2014, forcing Dick Johnson Racing to purchase a license from Paul Morris that had underpinned the Paul Morris Motorsport entry since 2000 and was leased to Tekno Autosports for its second entry in 2012 and 2013.

Dick Johnson Racing rebranded to DJR Team Penske following the purchase of a majority stake in the operation by Team Penske, downsizing to one entry for 2015 by leasing its second license to Super Black Racing.

DJR Team Penske expanded back to two entries for 2016 with the reacquisition of the leased license.

LUCAS DUMBRELL MOTORSPORT

Lucas Dumbrell became the youngest ever team boss when Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport debuted with an entry for the 2010 season.

The license was one of the two that were sold by the closing Tasman Motorsport, which had in turn emerged following the sale of the Lansvale Racing Team for 2004.

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport ran a single entry in its first three seasons before expanding to two for 2013, purchasing a license from Paul Morris Motorsport that had originated from Tony Longhurst via Team Dynamik, which in turn was purchased as a Level 1 franchise from Romano Racing.

Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport handed back one of its licenses to V8 Supercars for the 2014 season, though regained the REC for the 2015 season following a legal disagreement with the category over the license's ownership.

EREBUS MOTORSPORT

Betty Klimenko's Erebus Motorsport announced a takeover of Stone Brothers Racing in September 2012 for the 2013 season.

Stone Brothers Racing evolved out of Alan Jones Racing, which debuted in 1996 but was taken over by Ross and Jim Stone in 1998. Stone Brothers Racing expanded to two entries in 2000 with licenses owned by the Stones, also running customer cars for Larkham Motor Sport, Team Kiwi Racing, Britek Motorsport and James Rosenberg Racing over the coming years.

James Rosenberg Racing's license remained with the team as the third entry when Erebus took over from 2013, though the AMG Mercedes-Benz customer team would scale back to the two entries with Rosenberg taking his license to Walkinshaw Racing in 2014.