DJR Penske clarifies ownership, key staff
The alliance between Team Penske and Dick Johnson Racing has seen the American giant buy a controlling stake in the V8 Supercars squad.
Roger Penske confirmed during a teleconference today that his organisation will hold a 51 percent share in the new DJR Team Penske entity.
Existing DJR man Ryan Story has been appointed managing director, while Penske will bring in a new team manager and technical director.
“We’ll have 51 percent of the entity and Dick (DJR) will have 49,” said Penske.
“We will take on the financial responsibility in a going-forward basis.
“I think to me it’s an equal partnership and with Dick on the ground and Ryan being a managing director, I think we’ve forged a great alliance.”
DJR’s 49 percent component of the ownership remains split between Johnson and current partners Story and Steve Brabeck.
The new joint-venture company will meanwhile control both of DJR’s Racing Entitlements Contracts.
Johnson said he was proud to be handing over the reigns to Penske with the goal of improving the team’s competitiveness.
“To be quite honest I think anyone would be more than happy to hand control of any motor racing business to the Penske organisation,” said Johnson.
“I’ve been in motor racing for a lot of years and we’ve had a lot of success, but in recent times the success hasn’t been what I got into this business for originally.
“At this point I see this as a way for us to be able to run at the front of the field in the future.”
American Jeff Swartwout, who previously established Penske’s Porsche RS Spyder program in the mid-2000s and its NASCAR Nationwide efforts, will start as team manager next season.
Australian Nick Hughes, who worked at Penske shocks before stints in NASCAR with Ray Evernham and Michael Waltrip Racing, has been appointed to the technical role.
Recently with Gold Coast-based PWR, Hughes has worked with DJR at recent race meetings and will head up the team’s operations through the remainder of the season.
The teleconference also confirmed a role for ex-Nissan Motorsport CEO John Crennan, who will be brought in to manage the relationship between Penske’s Australian racing efforts and its growing business empire in the country.