By Matthew Agius

Team Kiwi Racing will run independently in the 2008 V8 Supercar Championship Series after negotiations to gain technical assistance with Stone Brothers Racing fell through.

Furthermore, it appears likely that Shane Van Gisbergen, a contracted SBR driver who was on loan to Team Kiwi, will replace Russell Ingall at the Yatala-based team - meaning that the All Blacks are now on the lookout for a replacement pilot.

The replacement is likely to come in the form of either Kayne Scott of John McIntyre - both Kiwi drivers who have had recent experience in the Fujitsu series and endurance races respectively.

Scott is favoured for the seat.

Meanwhile, the team has assumed a position of technical independence, although this may be somewhat forced after highly publicised off-track hostilities with Ford Performance Racing and later Stone Brothers Racing last year.

"We needed to step up competitively in the V8 Supercar Championship and those relationships (with FPR and SBR) definitely helped in that process," said team owner, David John.

"We also had more than our fair share of issues and allegations made against TKR this year which have been well documented.

"As a result the TKR Board believes we need to be more in control of our own destiny and direction.

"They want a competitive V8 Supercar team but they also want us to be firmly in control of all aspects of our own operation, and they want TKR to return more to its original philosophies of developing New Zealanders into the V8 Supercar Championship at all levels."

The team has purchased the spare chassis from Triple Eight Race Engineering, which won the 2006 Clipsal 500 Adelaide at the hands of Jamie Whincup, whilst the Stone Brothers Racing Engineering project will provide engines for the team.

A driver confirmation is expected in the coming weeks.


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