British Touring Car operation Triple Eight Race Engineering has acquired the assets and entrants licence of Team Betta Electrical from Briggs Motorsport, it was confirmed at the Sandown 500.

In an agreement effective as of 1 September, Triple Eight Australia - a newly-formed company with the express intention of fielding a top line V8 Supercar team - will take charge of the Briggs Motorsport premises in Brisbane and will continue to employ the existing staff and enter two cars in the V8 Supercar series.

"The company will be owned and run by the original founders of Triple Eight Race Engineering in the UK - Roland Dane, Derek Warwick and Ian Harrison - along with new partner Peter Butterly," Dane explained, "The company will continue to occupy the Briggs Motor Sport premises at Bowen Hills in Brisbane. It has taken on all existing staff, and is looking forward to building on the platform created by the first class facilities enjoyed by the team over the past two seasons."

Interestingly, Triple Eight, which runs GM brand Vauxhall in the BTCC, has bought itself a Ford team for the V8 series.

"Ford is delighted to have Triple Eight Race Engineering on board - its addition is a perfect compliment to Ford's commitment and resurgence in Australian motorsport," commented head of Ford Motorsport operations Stephen Kruk, "Ford has shown it's commitment to the V8 Supercar Series and the current success can only be enhanced by the addition of such a strong internationally renowned engineering partner.

"Triple Eight Race Engineering's expertise in European racing, especially touring cars, is amongst the very best in the world and we look forward to their ability to continue to drive the super competitive Australian Motorsport scene forward. The combination of Triple Eight's successful engineering history and success of the BA Falcon will be a tremendous addition to the Ford Racing Team. We look forward to a long and successful association and we wish Triple Eight Race Engineering every success in their venture into Ford V8 Racing."

The move was also welcomed by current Briggs Motor Sport sponsor Betta Electrical, although CEO Guy Houghton was quick to praise the relationship the company has enjoyed with Peter Briggs' team.

"The company is excited with the prospects of having Triple Eight Race Engineering at the helm of the new operation," Houghton said, "Betta Electrical has now been associated with the V8 Supercar Series for two years in association with Briggs Motor Sport and, as a new team, has performed in all aspects as a champion.

"In saying this, however, there is no doubt that the series is becoming increasingly competitive and demanding on the team owners to deliver results, and I am confident that, as a result of this acquisition, we at Team Betta Electrical will continue to progress up the ladder of success. Ultimately, as sponsors, team owners or supporters, we all aspire to be the best, and I am confident this new association will give us this result.

"Betta Electrical is committed to this new partnership, in line with its long-term commitment to motorsport within Australia."

Triple Eight, which has won the BTCC's teams', constructors' and drivers' championship for the past two seasons, follows former touring car rival Prodrive into the Australian arena, after the latter set-up Ford Performance Racing's three-car team at the start of 2003. As he had with David Richards' operation, the chairman of governing body AVESCO, Tony Cochrane, welcomed Triple Eight to the fold, sighting their investment in the series as a further indication of how strong the V8 Supercar category is on the international sporting stage.

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