Ford Australia has announced a new partnership with Dick Johnson's Queensland-based V8 Supercar team, Jim Beam Racing, for the 2010 season.

Jim Beam Racing will compete in the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series with direct factory support from Ford, in addition to the engineering and technical assistance the team received during 2009, following an internal review of its motorsport sponsorship programme.

A new financial package will see the Ford logo and corporate branding make its return to the Jim Beam Racing V8 Supercars following three months of intensive discussions between Ford Australia President and CEO Marin Burela and Jim Beam Racing team co-owner Charlie Schwerkolt.

"Ford is extremely pleased to be able to expand its partnership with Jim Beam Racing for 2010 and offer the team enhanced support for the upcoming season," said Ford Australia President and CEO, Marin Burela. "Dick Johnson is an icon of the sport and a motorsport legend. His name and his team have been synonymous with the Ford brand over a long period of time, so it's fitting that we can continue to be so inextricably linked in the world of motorsport in Australia."

Jim Beam Racing was one of the best performing Ford teams in 2009, finishing the year on a high with James Courtney winning the final race of the season at the Sydney Telstra 500, so they are well placed to carry that momentum into the new season.

"The discussions with Ford, in particular Marin Burela, have been refreshing and our performance on track in 2009 has certainly helped in our discussions to re-engage in 2010," said Jim Beam Racing team co-owner Charlie Schwerkolt. "It is such a positive move by Ford to increase its support of the team and, in turn, its ultimate support of the V8 Supercar category as a whole, and we look forward to a great partnership in 2010."

Jim Beam Racing co-owner Dick Johnson has also reiterated the team's pleasure at the enhanced partnership with Ford.

"This team and I have had a long association with Ford," he said, "and I am very pleased that we have been able to enhance that partnership this year."

Jim Beam Racing's new livery, including Ford branding, will be seen for the first time at the V8 Supercars season launch in Sydney and will make its track debut at Abu Dhabi next week, with a special livery designed for the Middle East rounds.