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23 Red Racing: Alive and kicking

In quite an extraordinary short period of time, the now defunct Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport operation has been salvaged from cellar-dweller regulars at the end of 2017 to genuine front-runners as 23 Red Racing in 2019. We spoke to owner Phil Munday and driver Will Davison about how they’ve achieved such a quick jump in SupercarXtra Magazine issue #112.

02 September 2019

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When Munday created 23 Red Racing at the end of 2017 and signed two-time Bathurst 1000 winner Davison, it was a bold move for both men. While Munday was taking over a backmarker operation, Davison was trying his luck with another one-car team after a mixed time at Tekno Autosports.

Eighteen months on and Davison has made a welcome return to the top 10 in the championship standings for 23 Red Racing. So how did this partnership start? Munday explains that it was his strong relationship with Lucas Dumbrell that led to 23 Red Racing being created.

“Lucas and I had sort of talked for quite some time about how he could move out of Supercars without losing all of his money” he says. 

“So we sort of put together a bit of a plan in 2017 for him to sell one of the RECs to Tickford or to Rod Nash Racing. 

“Rod bought it and then with the other REC I would take over 60 per cent and he’d keep 40 per cent and we would just build the team from there. 

“Before we got to racing, Lucas and I had a bit of a sit down and I said to Lucas, “˜I don’t actually know why you are doing it, mate, you should just move on’, but we’re happy for you to still be part of our team. We love you being around, we love you as a person. 

“We decided I would buy his 40 per cent, which put me as the owner of the whole lot.

“I always said I wanted to do a three-year term and see how it could go in three years. I always reckon your first year is your learning curve, the second year is what you’ve learnt put into practice and your third year in this sport you should be pretty well on the money, I hope. And that’s exactly what’s happened.” 

Munday explains his reasons for initially setting up his own team and workshop last season with technical support from Tickford Racing, before moving his REC to be prepared and operated under the Tickford Racing stable in 2019. 

“I built my own team, my own workshop, bought my own truck and transporters, everything as a single-car team” he says. 

“But it’s a really tough sport to do on our own. You need the support of those around you. Even though we had a Tickford engineering and engine deal, we were still a bit removed at the other end of pitane from where we needed to be. 

“Then when Ford announced that they were going to go to the Mustang and they were going to back the sport, that was a pretty big boost for me, which set me up on a bit of a path of trying to work out how I can get up into the front of the field here, in the garages to be amongst the six Fords that were there.”

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