Expect to see Paul Dumbrell switch from a factory Holden to a factory Ford in 2010.
The 27-year-old has emerged as the man most likely to take the reigns of the #55 The Bottle-O Racing entry that will be run by Ford Performance Racing next season.
Speedcafe spoke to Dumbrell today (in Las Vegas at a trade show), and while he said that no deal has been signed yet, the option to switch from Walkinshaw Racing to Ford Performance Racing was real.
“I haven't signed a deal as yet,” he said.
“I've been away for a few days, so it's given me a chance to have a think about things and allow me to make a decision on my return. At the current time, there's nothing locked away as yet.
“I've been very fortunate to drive for Holden for all of my career and all of the people there have been extremely good to me, and the loyalty they have shown me is a factor in the decision.
“I've been with the best Holden team for the last two years, but I've got to look at my future from a personal view. There's going to be no right or wrong answer with this. It will just be a personal choice.”
Dumbrell will return from Las Vegas on Thursday before making his way to Phillip Island for this weekend's round of the V8 Supercar Championship Series – The Island 300 – this weekend.
It was announced last week that Rod Nash Racing, the owner of the #55 Racing Entitlements Contract, will partner with Ford Performance Racing as a third factory entry in the V8 Championship Series next year.
RNR has a strong link with the Dumbrell family, with past entries being sponsored by Dumbrell-owned companies Autobarn and Autopro.
The ‘Dumbrell to Ford' deal isn't the first time that ‘PD' has looked like crossing to the Blue Oval. Dumbrell was ‘all but' a Stone Brothers Racing driver in 2008 before a late deal was struck for him to remain at Holden with Walkinshaw Racing. Dumbrell has been at Walkinshaw's team ever since.