New British 250cc World Championship team, Winona Racing, has announced a strategic partnership with former 500cc race winning outfit WCM.
Winona Racing has been formed to help get young British riders into MotoGP
and, under the terms of the new agreement, WCM will become an investor in Winona Racing - with WCM's racing director, Peter Clifford, joining the management team as an advisor.
Clifford's new role will be to help Winona Racing build its racing logistics and to advise Andrew Hyde in the areas of rider and technical development.
"As a new outfit, Winona Racing has a much stronger foundation through this partnership with WCM," said Hyde. "We will have two bikes on the grid at every round of the 2007 season, which kick's off within 16 months of the team's foundation. It is an aggressive plan and Peter's guidance and experience will be invaluable as we build the team.
"Our mutual ambition is to see a British MotoGP
Clifford has over 20 years of grand prix experience, the last 10 years of which have been spent competing in the 500cc/MotoGP class - where he oversaw victories for Regis Laconi, Simon Crafar and Gary McCoy in the 1998 to 2000 seasons, when the team was running 500cc Yamahas in Red Bull colours.
The loss of Red Bull backing at the end of 2002 saw WCM build their own prototype to continue racing but, with the planed Blata partnership coming to nothing, were finally forced to admit defeat and withdraw from the 2006 season. However, the team is planning a 2007 return, again running its own (now 800cc) prototype.
"This deal makes sense for both parties," said Clifford. "WCM continues to develop plans for a return to the MotoGP
class and this involvement with a British 250cc team will give us access to talented young British riders for the future. I'd also like to see Winona Racing benefit from everything we learned from racing the two-stroke 500 for all those years."
This weekend's British Grand Prix will be the fourth world championship event for Winona Racing and rider Dan Linfoot.
Linfoot has qualified comfortably for his three previous grands prix, but hopes that home knowledge will enable him to score his first world championship points at Donington