Loenbro Motorsports has announced a two-car programme for the upcoming Red Bull Global Rallycross season.
The team, which takes over Chip Ganassi Racing‘s entry, will again field a brace of M-Sport built Ford Fiesta STs.
While the name of the team has changed, along with their base, very little else has. The majority of the team’s staff, including lead engineer Carl Goodman have followed the operation to their new facility just outside of Moorseville, North Carolina.
Steve Arpin, who drove for the team during their first two seasons and took a maiden victory at Daytona last year, will remain as general manager of the team, working alongside co-owners Paul and Jon Leach.
“We’re excited to build upon the incredibly successful foundation that we’ve laid in Red Bull GRC,” said Paul Leach in a press release. “We made big gains from the creation of this team in 2015 into the 2016 season, and we’re laser-focused on continuing to improve this year.”
“The way we run this race team is an extension and representation of Loenbro’s core values as a company,” he added. “Our successes over the past few seasons only further encourage our efforts. We look forward to coming out of the box strong and contending for race victories and podiums once again in 2017.”
Arpin is currently working on putting together a deal that will enable him to race this year, but the Canadian admits that it’s far from certain that he will be racing this year.
“I really want to be driving, that’s definitely the ultimate goal,” Arpin told The Checkered Flag. “Realistically what we’re really looking forward to and pushing for is to have everything the same moving forward.”
“That being said, it all comes down to sponsorship and so forth so we’re working hard at that and I hope that we’re able to close all the deals that we need to for me to be in the driver’s seat all year long.” he continued. “But if not I’m really enjoying myself on the management side and we’ll keep on going from that direction.”
The identity of the team’s second driver is less clear. Brian Deegan, who won the final race of 2016, was expected to remain with the team but Arpin insists that the team needs to put together a package that is best for the team not just in sporting terms, but on the business side of things too.
“The plan is to do whatever the best scenario for the big picture for our team is,” he said. “When I say that we’re not just going to take the first Tom or Joe that’s never drove a race car before that’s turning up with a cheque, but at the same time we’re not going to go out and put ourselves in a situation where we’re not giving our team, from a business aspect, an opportunity to succeed either.”
The team is aiming to begin testing in mid-March ahead of the season opener in Memphis, Tennessee on April 29.