UPDATED (7:00 p.m. ET): According to Autoweek, Penske Racing president Tim Cindric has said that team involvement in Australia’s V8 Supercars series “may be a stretch” and instead noted that it could be sponsor-based.
Roger Penske’s Penske Automotive Group recently made inroads into Australia with the September purchase of the Western Star trucking company. And per Cindric, that may be the way Penske breaks into Supercars instead.
“We may look to tie Western Star to the series in some way,” Cindric said following a meeting with Supercars officials at the season-ending Sydney 500.
A report this morning from Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper said that the team could be on the verge of joining the popular touring car series.
“I have been to the Gold Coast many times but never took an interest, because we were racing IndyCars,” Cindric told the Telegraph. “I have to understand where this business is at from a sponsorship perspective and this could lead to something else down the road.
“It is a series I love, always have. In [Australia], it is as big as the NFL in America. We want to understand it and than work out how to get involved.”
Phelps’ report also detailed how a move into Supercars would tie into a bigger plan for Penske in Australia, one that includes the aforementioned Western Star.
The Supercars visited America this year with an early-season trip to Austin, Texas’ Circuit of the Americas, but will not return in 2014 thanks to COTA’s scheduling conflict with the X Games. Signs point to a return to the schedule in 2015.
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.