Dane: Lacroix ‘duplicitous’ in Penske move
Triple Eight team principal Roland Dane has labelled Ludo Lacroix ‘duplicitous’ following the Frenchman’s shock decision to join DJR Team Penske.
Dane has this morning spoken out on the upcoming move from Lacroix, who has been the technical director of Triple Eight’s Supercars team since it was established in 2003.
While Dane had been aware of Lacroix’s decision to leave Triple Eight for several months, he was blindsided by news of the technical guru’s upcoming role with Penske.
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Speaking to Supercars Media, Dane indicated that Lacroix’s actions had stung more than Adrian Burgess’ mid-2013 decision to defect to Walkinshaw Racing.
“I’d known that Ludo was wanting to leave and feeling he was going to leave at the end of the year,” said Dane.
“I’d known for some time and I’m very comfortable with that decision because I think the relationship has run its course.
“It’s been very good for us but to be honest we’ve got another generation of guys coming up.
“It’s one of the reasons that Jeromy (Moore) left a couple of years ago.
“There wasn’t room at the top of the tree at that point for him to grow into.
“I’ve been conscious of that and I’m aware of it.
“But clearly it was news to us this week of where he (Lacroix) was going, so that was duplicitous.
“But it’s to be expected in this business.
“When Adrian (Burgess) left he was honest about it. Ludo hasn’t been which is a shame, but that’s what happens.”
Although not mentioning Penske by name, Dane insists he has “no issue” with another team wanting to recruit Lacroix.
The deal is the latest sign of Penske’s determination to tackle Triple Eight’s position as the dominant Supercars force.
Triple Eight is currently enjoying a stellar season, with drivers Shane van Gisbergen, Jamie Whincup and Lowndes holding the top three places in the Drivers’ Championship.
It has already secured the Teams’ Championship for a seventh consecutive year.
“When you’re at the top of the category, like we’ve been for over a decade, people come and steal people off you,” he said.
“It doesn’t surprise me when someone comes along with more money and they want to spend it.
“That’s the way of the world. I don’t have an issue with that at all.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity it gives to the young guys that we’ve got in the business and also some of the appointments I’ve been able to make in the last three months while we planned for this.
“Some of that has rolled out in the last few days.”
Triple Eight confirmed on Tuesday that former Williams and McLaren Formula 1 technical chief Sam Michael will join the team next year in a part-time mentoring role.