New name, new era for Supercars team
MOTORSPORT: Prodrive Racing Australia will be rechristened as Tickford Racing for the 2018 Supercars Championship and beyond.
The former Ford factory-backed outfit's new moniker follows its revival of the Tickford brand as a performance vehicle business, the name change uniting the operations under one brand.
"We've been considering the possibility of changing the team's name for some time and I am pleased to announce that we'll take on the Tickford Racing name for 2018 and beyond," Tickford managing director and team co-owner Rod Nash said.
"The change creates a strong overall link between our rapidly growing performance road car business and our racing division. The new logo provides a very obvious brand identity for Tickford both on the race track and on the road.
"We were conscious of how another name change might be perceived by our fans and members given all the success we've had under the PRA banner with championships in the main game and Super2 plus Bathurst success."
The change harks back to a prior era for the Melbourne-based outfit, which raced under the Ford Tickford Racing banner in 1999-2001 when the team was under Glenn Seton's ownership.
Ford rested Tickford as a brand in deference to the creation of the Ford Performance Vehicles/Ford Performance Racing identities in 2003, the team resurrecting the brand as a vehicle personalisation and performance arm late last year.
"We made sure we kept blue in our logo as we know the fans love it. They want to see blue in our logo and on the grid and it nicely provides a constant link to our past and what we represent," Nash said.
"Tickford Racing adopts the modern interpretation of the Tickford logo like our automotive business has and we retain the same drivers and personnel that have made us so successful. I'd like to think it's a win for everyone."
From a team perspective, all remains the same. Its drivers for 2018 will still be Mark Winterbottom, Chaz Mostert, Cam Waters and Richie Stanaway aboard its fleet of four FG X Falcons.
The Tickford branding has been on the team's cars in 2017, but Tickford Racing team principal and group CEO Tim Edwards expects the new name will reinforce the connection between the two.
"Under our current structure with PRA and Tickford it can be a little confusing as to how the two entities are linked and their relevance to each other. With the switch to Tickford Racing that evaporates and creates new opportunities," Edwards said.
"We can potentially create Tickford Racing special edition vehicles, and more easily use our expertise across both businesses and represent all our interests more efficiently.
"The release earlier this year of the Tickford Bathurst '77 Special Mustang highlighted the interest in racing fans and performance vehicle enthusiasts wanting special edition road cars with race-bred performance.
"The Bathurst '77 Special was our first attempt at bringing our racing expertise into our automotive business and by having the same name and look-and-feel we can make this a more special and holistic experience in future."