V8 Supercar rookie David Reynolds appears to have been left out in the cold after Bundaberg Red Racing revealed that it was expanding into a two-car operation in 2010 – with Fabien Coulthard and Andrew Thompson doing the driving.
Principal backer Bundaberg Rum has confirmed it will extend its sponsorship across two of Walkinshaw Racing's cars but, having tested the waters this year with Reynolds, has committed to two new faces for season two. Recently-recruited Coulthard will pilot the #24 Holden, while former series regular Thompson was confirmed as the fourth and final driver in
the Walkinshaw stable having been left without a ride for 2009 when his previous team folded.
Thompson's most recent foray in V8 Supercars was with PWR Racing in 2008, but his only outings this year came when he teamed up with the Bottle 'O Racing squad for the endurance events at Phillip Island and Bathurst, driving alongside Tony d'Alberto.
"Walkinshaw Racing prides itself on developing and nurturing talented up-and-coming drivers and we are pleased to be able to continue that with Andrew," team CEO Craig Wilson said, welcoming Thompson to the organisation.
The expanded Bundaberg Red Racing team will unveil its livery in the New Year, but Wilson said he was thrilled to continue the association into 2010 season and looks forward seeing the team evolve into a leading squad.
"We have had a wonderful association with the team at Bundaberg Rum and our preference was to maintain that relationship," he noted, "We opened discussions with them some time ago about the prospect of extending our partnership and we are delighted that they have decided to be represented on two cars and further develop their connection with Walkinshaw Racing and V8 Supercars.
"Experience shows that two car teams have greater opportunity and resources to be able to consistently challenge for race wins and podium finishes and we feel that Bundy Red Racing is now in a position to do that. We also anticipate their increased presence will provide a new level of exposure for the Bundaberg Red brand and our other sponsors.”
Reynolds, meanwhile, will remain contracted to Walkinshaw Racing after signing up as an endurance driver for the
Phillip Island 500 and Bathurst 1000, and Wilson was quick to commend him on his achievements this year, especially at the final two events.
"David has done a great job this year and has fitted in really well with the Walkinshaw Racing crew,” he pointed out, “We are happy he has accepted the role of endurance driver for Phillip Island and Bathurst next year."