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Mopar Drops Drifting Sponsorship

Formula D future uncertain for long time Mopar racer Samuel Hübinette

 |  May 21 2009, 12:04 PM

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As a part of Chrysler’s restructuring plan it has announced that Mopar will cease its sponsorship of the NuFormz Racing team and driver Samuel Hübinette.

The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now as Chrysler has been seeking every area where it can cut costs. Additionally, a strong sign was when Hübinette took to the track during the first round of the Formula D series in Long Beach in a Dodge Viper – and not the Challenger (pictured above) that Mopar debuted at the 2008 SEMA Show.

“As a part of Chrysler’s comprehensive restructuring plan to revitalize our business and succeed as a stronger car company, we’re rigorously reviewing all expenditures and making tough business decisions,” said Mike Accavitti, Director of Brand Marketing and Strategy at Chrysler. “The decision to end Team Mopar’s sponsorship of NuFormz Racing was difficult because of our long-term relationship with the ream and all of the success we’ve enjoyed competing in Formula Drift.

Driving for Mopar, Hübinette won the first ever Formula D contest and holds the title of the most outright victories. He won the championship in 2004 and 2006 and was a runner up in ’05 and ’08.

“I had a great eight-year run as a member of the Team Mopar family and want to thank the company for all the great memories I’m taking away,” said NuFormz Racing team owner Shaun Carlson. “It’s a tough decision, but given the current economic environment inside and outside of racing, I certainly understand it.”

The sponsorship contract will be terminated after the next event in New Jersey on June 5/6.

Official release after the jump:

PRESS RELEASE

Mopar® Announces Plan To End Sponsorship Of NuFormz Racing
Decision is part of Chrysler LLC’s comprehensive restructuring plan

Center Line, Mich. – Mopar®, Chrysler LLC’s Parts division, announced it will end its majority sponsorship of the NuFormz Racing team, which competes in the Formula Drift (FD) Series. Mopar’s sponsorship of the NuFormz Racing team will conclude following the June 5–6 event at Wall (N.J.) Speedway.

“As part of Chrysler’s comprehensive restructuring plan to revitalize our business and succeed as a stronger car company, we’re rigorously reviewing all expenditures and making tough business decisions,” said Mike Accavitti, Director of Brand Marketing and Strategy, Chrysler LLC. “The decision to end Team Mopar’s sponsorship of NuFormz Racing was difficult because of our long-term relationship with the team and all of the success we’ve enjoyed competing in Formula Drift.

“We wish the team nothing but the best in the future,” Accavitti added. “At this time, we plan to continue supporting our other racing sponsorships into the foreseeable future.”

NuFormz Racing team owner Shaun Carlson and driver Samuel Hübinette have enjoyed long and illustrious careers competing under the Team Mopar banner. Carlson debuted with Team Mopar beginning in 2002 as a driver in the NHRA Sport Compact division. He went on to pilot the Team Mopar/SRT® Dodge Stratus R/T NHRA Pro Stock car for Don Schumacher Racing during the 2006 season.

Carlson and Hübinette teamed up in the FD Series in 2004 and quickly shot to the top of the emerging new motorsport. Hübinette claimed victory in the first-ever FD event in his Mopar Dodge Viper, maintained by Carlson, and went on to capture three of four 2004 events and the overall championship in the inaugural FD season. Hübinette, with Carlson as team owner, powered to his second FD championship in 2006. Hübinette, owner of a series-high nine career FD wins, also claimed runner-up finishes in the FD point standings in 2005 and 2008.

“I had a great eight-year run as a member of the Team Mopar family, and want to thank the company for all the great memories I’m taking away,” said Carlson. “It’s a tough decision, but given the current economic environment inside and outside of racing, I certainly understand it.

We’re going to work as hard as ever to cap off our success with Team Mopar with a convincing win at The Gauntlet race in early June.”