JANUARY 25, 2006
Toyota and Red Bull
Toyota has announced that it will have at least three two-car teams in NASCAR in 2007 and there is no surprise that two of these will be Bill Davis Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing. The third is unexpected as it will be an organisation called Team Red Bull.
With the kind of money that Red Bull has to burn, the Austrian company will be able to buy some big names in the NASCAR world. There is no official word yet on the details of the team but it will be based in Mooresville, North Carolina and will be run by stock car veteran Marty Gaunt. Gaunt has been working with an organization called Red Horse Racing, which runs Toyota trucks in the Craftsman Truck Series, but it does not seem as though this will be the basis of the new team as Red Horse Racing has announced that Tom DeLoach is taking over the management role of the team as Gaunt is moving on. DeLoach was a Mobil executive before starting the team (hence the name as Mobil's logo is a red horse).
The implications of the deal may be felt in F1 as there is bound to be speculation that Red Bull may do a deal with Toyota. At the moment Red Bull has a two-year deal with Ferrari but a Toyota deal might be better in the long-term as Ferrari customers do not generally win races and Red Bull Racing clearly has that ambition. Toyota is negotiating an engine deal for the long-term with WilliamsF1 to run alongside the Panasonic Toyota Racing operation.
The other big question in the United States is whether Toyota's move to NASCAR will push Honda USA in the same direction.
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