Changes at Penske after mid-season review
DJR Team Penske has sharpened its Supercars effort during the mid-season break as it strives to turn potential into results.
The team began its second season under American ownership in impressive fashion with two pole positions in Adelaide, but has since largely failed to deliver on its promise.
An inability to carry strong qualifying speed through the races has been the squad’s biggest issue, with tyre life a repeat deficiency.
DJRTP managing director Ryan Story says the team’s engineering group will continue the task of exploring set-up avenues on its Fords this weekend.
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The fast and flowing Sydney layout is expected to suit the two Falcons, which were podium contenders at Albert Park and Phillip Island earlier this year.
While the task of gelling its new-for-2016 engineering group together is ongoing, Story emphasises the importance of changes to internal processes as the team chases results.
DJRTP’s season has been peppered with minor strategy, pitstop and reliability issues that, together with inconsistent speed, have conspired to leave Fabian Coulthard and Scott Pye just 14th and 16th in points respectively.
A five-week mid-season break brought about by the cancellation of the Kuala Lumpur event has allowed teams such as DJRTP to take stock of and address their weaknesses.
“We’ve taken the opportunity to assess where we are and regroup,” Story told Speedcafe.com.
“Part of that has required a pretty critical approach as to how we do things.
“The results we’ve had have in part been dictated by mistakes and clumsiness on our part.
“The relative speed and competitiveness that we’ve had hasn’t always been reflected on the results sheet.
“Part of it (changes following the review) is eliminating that element, which is a matter of discipline and procedure.
“We’ve developed procedures and processes that will make a lot of these things muscle memory to our guys.
“It’s a pretty critical element of where we are and where we’re hoping to improve in the short term.”
Although encouraged by the potential left in the team’s package and its speed at SMP last year, Story is characteristically cautious when asked of expectations for the weekend.
“We’re taking a slightly different approach this weekend, but in the main what we are looking for is consistency,” he said.
“I think we’ve got two cars more than capable of top 10 pace and better and what we require is to back that pace up with reflective results.”
Both DJRTP Falcons will run in the colours of MAN Truck and Bus this weekend.
Imported and distributed in Australia by Penske, MAN featured on Pye’s Ford at SMP and Pukekohe last year, picking up the team’s first podium at the latter event.