As Jason Bright leaves Ford Performance Racing for his own Britek Motorsport operation, many questions are being asked about sponsorship and driver arrangements for the team's 2007 operations.

In an exclusive Crash.net interview, V8 Supercar Correspondent Matthew Agius caught up with Jewell to shed some light on these issues.

One of the main points of discussion was who will partner Bright at the team next year. Several options appear available for Britek Motorsport to take up, and Jewell was pleased with the choices on offer for the identity of the team's second driver.

Q
Will Britek continue to run a second car in 2007 and if so, which drivers are being considered for it?

Chris Jewell
"When the entries are lodged at the end of next week with Vee Eight Supercars Australia and TEGA we will be nominating two main-game V8 Supercar entries. Jason Bright will drive the first Fujitsu sponsored car and the second car, at this point in time, has an unconfirmed driver that amongst the options are a possible pay driver with a number of years V8 Supercar experience, and when I say 'pay driver' he has a sponsor linked to him.

Second to that we also have ongoing discussions with our current incumbent in Warren Luff, Adam Macrow who joined us for the long distance races this year and also arms-length discussions with some of the other drivers who are sitting in the background of V8s.

You can include in that group Alex Davison, Steve Ellery etcetera. Jose Fernandez is hoping to try and find the funding to do the job as well and should he do so before we cement plans with any of that aforementioned group, potentially Jose could find himself alongside Jason.

That's probably going to be a good opportunity for him if that materialises because we will have six test days next year, and we will different cars, engines, personnel and processes as far as our program is concerned.

Somewhere after December 12th and before the first race next year we will confirm our plans, but at this point in time I am pretty comfortable if any of those options present themselves, and hopefully 2007 will be a good learning year for whoever is alongside Jason Bright.

Q
Bright has retained a relationship with Pirtek, especially after running with Stone Brothers Racing in 1998 and '99 driving the Pirtek EL and AU Falcons. With Pirtek joining forces with the Britek rally team in 2007 and with that relationship with Bright existence, is their any likelihood of two Pirtek sponsored BFII Falcons lining up at next year's Clipsal 500.

Chris Jewell
There's no likelihood whatsoever, (that Pirtek will become naming rights sponsor of the V8 operation) the last thing that we'd want to do is affect their current preferences as far as their relationship with the rally program.

They obviously had a very long relationship with Stone Brothers Racing and was obviously very lucrative given the Bathurst win with Jason and the championships with Marcos Ambrose, but this point in time we certainly wouldn't approach them as far as the V8 program is concerned because they've clearly made a valued decision to pursue the rally program in alignment with Ford and are happy to be re-introduced to Jason via the Britek association, but in this point in time the Pirtek relationship will be solely restricted to the rally program, and we ultimately respect that and always have.

Q
You get a new log book of test days, completely unique to the team next year. Will there be any new chassis or engine development for the V8 Supercar operation in 2007?

Chris Jewell
We currently own two chassis and don't have plans to build a third chassis at this point in time - the only reason being that being with the new Falcon coming out in 2008 we're going to have to gear up, and are already gearing up for a very good car in that area. So we'll have some very heavily modified Britek cars for next year and a lot of modifications will obviously come from what Jason has gleaned, learned and contributed to at FPR.

On the engine front we've just about finished the installation of our new engine dyno. We have recruited one ex-Larry Perkins engine builder and are currently talking to another high-profile engine builder in V8 Supercars and will have our engines built totally in house. We will be building three new engines from the ground up for Jason Bright next year and then will retro-modify the remaining three engines for the second entry as we firm up our plans and know exactly who the drive will be for next year.

We'll be totally self-sufficient with everything in-house. All the CNC equipment, lathe, spray booths, composite lamination, painting etc. is now all entirely in-house, which allows us to protect our intellectual property and control our own destiny. So as All the work that has gone on behind the scenes is probably not directly reflected in our on-track results but it's certainly building a very broad foundation and in essence you could say we were working for 2007 right throughout 2006 whilst trying to do as good a job racing with Warren (Luff) and Jose (Fernandez) and Tony (Ricciardello) as well.