CAT RACING V8 SUPERCAR - SHELL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES ISSUED: WEDNESDAY, 1st SEPTEMBER, 1999 A NEW BEGINNING FOR CAT RACING'S 2000 ASSAULT As the new millennium dawns, Cat Racing is set to launch a new assault on the year 2000 V8 Supercar Shell ...
V8 SUPERCAR - SHELL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES ISSUED: WEDNESDAY, 1st SEPTEMBER, 1999
A NEW BEGINNING FOR CAT RACING'S 2000 ASSAULT
As the new millennium dawns, Cat Racing is set to launch a new assault on the year 2000 V8 Supercar Shell Championship Series.
The world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and heavy duty diesel engines, Caterpillar has renewed its commitment to V8 Supercar racing with former Australian touring car champion and Bathurst winner John Bowe behind the wheel.
In an exciting development, Caterpillar has joined forces with a new team partner who has purchased the outfit from its Perth-based owners.
V8 Supercar racer John Briggs has taken over reigns of Executive Director of Cat Racing from Kevin Otway who has stood down from the position to concentrate his energies on his WA-based transport business.
Cat Racing will be relocated to Briggs' Queensland workshops, but will operate separately from the Brisbane driver's current two-car Ford Falcon team.
"We have been delighted with the amazing results that John and the team have achieved in its debut year and the level of exposure to our customers has been remarkable," Caterpillar Australia Marketing Manager, Mr Chris Salmon said.
"Our involvement in V8 Supercar racing has provided our customers with something to really cheer for and the sponsorship has become a valuable marketing tool.
"Our network of dealers throughout Australia have also provided us with very positive feedback and we are looking forward to an even more successful 2000.
"Kevin Otway has done a superb job in overseeing the establishment of the team. We are disappointed he has decided not to continue next year but he has certainly left John Briggs with a very healthy outfit for next year's Championship."
Caterpillar's debut year in the V8 Supercar Shell Championship Series has cemented it in the record books as earning a pole position, round podium place and race victory in the shortest time-span from its inception.
The team has also established a highly regarded reputation for its on- track presentation and professionalism which equally matches it on-track pace.
Lead driver John Bowe is excited about Cat Racing¹s potential to seriously challenge for title honours in the first V8 Supercar championship of the new millennium.
"Everybody, myself included, is surprised with the amazing success that we have had in our first year," Bowe said.
"The results have far exceeded my expectations and instills a new confidence in the entire team that we can be a serious threat in this year's championship.
"Basing the team is WA was certainly tough and Kevin did an amazing job in getting this thing off the ground. None of this would have happened without Kevin and he has now handed on a great opportunity for John Briggs.
"We are going to miss having him around but the dedication that he has instilled in this team is certainly not going to change. Doing our first Bathurst this year is just another important step in the development of the team but I am confident Jim (Richards) and I will be quite competitive.
"It is also great that our achievements have been recognised by Caterpillar and I hope this partnership will continue to provide them great exposure.
"It was a real pleasure to work in conjunction with the Caterpillar people this year and I am really looking forward to continuing next year."
Former Cat Racing Executive Director, Kevin Otway, believes the team will continue to thrive next year from its new Brisbane base.
"I would have loved to again been involved for the rest of the season and next year," Otway said.
"But with the current economic down-turn in the WA mining industry, I have had to focus my attentions on my transport businesses and would be unable to provide the race team with the dedication it requires.
"I certainly derived a great deal of personal satisfaction from my involvement in the sport and the success that the team has achieved.
"John Briggs has my total support for the future and I am certainly not going to be a total stranger. It will be nice to go to a few races without having the stress of running the outfit."
Cat Racing will bypass the Gold Coast Indy support races to save its Ford Falcon AU V8 Supercar for the FAI 1000 at Bathurst where new Executive Director, John Briggs will take over the reigns.
"The streets of Surfers Paradise can certainly bite and we believe it will be better to test through that period than risk damaging the car," John Briggs said.
"The team is still is its infancy and with only one car, it is too big a risk to take as we reorganise ourselves during the changeover period.
"To be in a position to take over the team and virtually inherit a driver of John's caliber is a magnificent opportunity.
"Kevin's efforts will be a hard act to follow, but the entire team is dedicated towards making sure can keep the Cat Racing V8 Supercar at the sharp end of the grid."