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Volume 10 No. 22


V8 Supercars team Owner Dick Johnson "is closing on a deal with Roger Penske, an American billionaire whose motorsport empire has claimed everything worth having in U.S. motorsport," according to Paul Gover of the Sydney DAILY TELEGRAPH. The Johnson-Penske deal "could be finalised before the end of the month and even include the signing of ­Marcos Ambrose as lead driver for next year’s V8 Supercar season." Ambrose, a two-time champion in Falcons with Stone Brothers Racing, "is strongly rumoured to have plans to return to Australia with his family after battling to make the top grade in NASCAR racing in America despite ­several big road-course wins." No one on either side of the ­Pacific "is giving any confirmation yet but there are strong pointers to a Penske-Johnson super team as ­Penske expands his giant motoring empire into Australia with a string of new-car dealerships and local ­ownership of the Western Star truck brand." Johnson "is not prepared to comment on the Penske negotiations but admitted he would welcome a buy-in." Johnson: "I really want to cement the ­future, with where DJR is headed" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 7/24).

Spanish second division side Real Zaragoza "is now the property of the Fundación Zaragoza 2032 group," according to Christian Ortiz of MARCA. Fundación is led by Telefónica President César Alierta. Former Zaragoza Owner Agapito Iglesias received the shares in the club that he sold to local businessmen in June, who "signed off to have the shares revert back to Iglesias." On Thursday, Iglesias then signed an agreement to sell the shares to the Fundación. The club's new shareholders "are now working on a new project." Their first task "will be settling debts with players and team employees." Fundación will also have to pay the Spanish tax authorities €2.6M ($3.5M) (MARCA, 7/24).