RUSSELL Ingall’s departure from Stone Brothers Racing at the end of 2007 allowed Shane van Gisbergen to make his full-time Supercars Championship debut in the team’s #9 Falcon the following year – but it was originally supposed to be Paul Dumbrell in the seat.
‘PD’ talks about the near-move on this week’s episodes of the V8 Sleuth Podcast powered by Timken, including just how far down the road the deal had been.
Listen to the episodes in the players below:
“I think it was well, well, well down the path, because I think there was merchandise printed!” he told the V8 Sleuth Podcast.
“I’m pretty sure (we signed a deal) at the time with (Autobarn) sponsorship as well.
“That was the plan, and then the Walkinshaw opportunity came up.”
Dumbrell had been part of the Holden family since his full-time arrival in the Supercars Championship with Perkins Engineering in 2003, but was coming off a difficult 2007 season with a struggling Paul Weel Racing squad.
However, he remained in a Holden for 2008 instead of switching to Ford.
Reigning champion Garth Tander’s placement at the Holden Racing Team opened up a seat at the HSV Dealer Team, and it was their #16 Commodore that Dumbrell raced instead of SBR’s #9 Falcon.
“We navigated our way out of that … to be perfectly frank I didn’t have a lot to do with it on a day-to-day basis, but there were a lot of unhappy people at the time, which was rightly so,” Dumbrell said.
“Thankfully for all parties there was an outcome that we reached and we were both able to do what we wanted.”
Dumbrell eventually did make a move to Ford two years later, ending his full-time Supercars career with a two-year stint at Ford Performance Racing in the Rod Nash-owned #55 Falcon,
Speaking of Fords, don’t miss out on a copy of our limited-edition book, ‘Ford at Bathurst, 1963 to 2018’ featuring a photo of every Ford to compete in ‘The Great Race’ in that time, including all of Lowndes’ Bathurst Falcons from 2001 to 2009.
He discusses the breakthrough period – which saw Dumbrell take his maiden pole position and race victory in the space of two weeks at the end of the 2010 season – among a wide range of topics across the two parts of the episode.