Penske 'needs Bathurst win on resume'

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 12/10/2018
  • By Mitchell Adam

Legendary team owner Roger Penske says a Bathurst 1000 win is "one that I need to have on my resume" after his Supercars squad banked another podium last Sunday.

Penske bought into Dick Johnson Racing in late-2014, forming what's now DJR Team Penske.

One of its Shell Fords has finished third the last two years at Mount Panorama; in 2017 with Fabian Coulthard/Tony D'Alberto and last weekend with Scott McLaughlin/Alex Premat.

McLaughlin and Premat led for 12 laps before a slow brake rotor change on lap 57 cost them track position, while Coulthard greeted the flag ninth.

Penske as an operation took its 500th race win last month, Supercars accounting for 20 of those alongside IndyCar, NASCAR and sportscar programs.

Australian Will Power's 2018 victory took Team Penske's Indy 500 tally to 14, while it has also won the Daytona 500 in NASCAR and sportscar racing's Daytona 24 Hour.

A semi-regular Bathurst attendee, Penske reaffirmed his goal of adding Supercars' blue-ribband event to that collection.

"To see us up on the podium was a real pleasure, the guys have done a good job," he said.

"I take my hat off to Craig Lowndes, obviously he is moving on and to see him win this big one, I know how that feels.

"[It's] unbelievable with the crowd and to be able to represent our team and be here with our people was terrific, but Fabian and Scotty and the guys did a hell of a job for us.

"I think that we've got to get this one, it is one that I need to have on my resume."

Penske's 2018 trip to Bathurst including witnessing DJR Team Penske win the PIRTEK Pit Stop Challenge for a second year running.

After a tight finish, though, he offered to split the $20,000 grand prize with runner-up Brad Jones Racing.

On track, Ford's Falcon did not add to its tally of 14 Bathurst wins at its final attempt.

DJR Team Penske, Ford Performance in the US and Tickford Racing are currently developing the Mustang package that enters Supercars next year.

"We're excited about the Mustang," Penske said.

"When you look at the commitment we've made, Ford Motor Company's made, certainly the guys back in Dearborn (Michigan, Ford's base) and our guys here have done a great job.

"We're partnering with Tickford on this thing and I think we're going to have a real machine.

"That's the iconic car; to be able to race a Mustang here would be absolutely terrific."

The podium was McLaughlin's first at Bathurst, and he trimmed Shane van Gisbergen's points lead from 55 to 19.

"We would have loved to send [the Falcon] off with a win but it is what it is," said McLaughlin.

"Certainly we’ll come back stronger next year with our Mustang."

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