Penske's Promise

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 06/11/2015
  • By Kassie Gadeke

Roger Penske is in V8 Supercars for the long haul and has his sights set on podium finishes for DJR Team Penske next season.

In Auckland for the opening of state-of-the-art Penske headquarters in New Zealand, the motoring heavyweight reaffirmed his faith in his team and the sport.

While DJR Team Penske has run as one car this season, it will expand to two next year as Penske looks to fight to the top.

"I'm never happy unless I'm winning all the races!" he said.

"This isn't an investment for just a couple of years, we see this as our marketing of our brand, showing the execution.

"It [motorsport] is a great customer entertainment medium for us, we've used it to build a brand in the United States ... the competition is tough and we've got a lot to learn, but you can be sure we're not going to stop until we get to where we need to go. And we know where that is."

It has been a challenging year for the team, which officially merged into DJR Team Penske for 2015. Star recruit Marcos Ambrose chose to step back from driving when he struggled to come to grips with the car, leaving up-and-comer Scott Pye to tame the Ford Falcon FG X.

Pye and his crew - with technical assistance from Prodrive Racing Australia - had the car in the top five by mid-year in Darwin and are now focused on consistent, error free runs.

"We've got some work to do," Penske said.

"I think with the Ford this year we've made some good progress - fortunately we've been able to work with the other Ford team, that's really helped us here in the mid-term. They've really put their hand out to help us get better, which we appreciate."

He knows winning in V8 Supercars won't be easy, and Penske was pleased with what the team has been able to achieve up to this point.

"Right now I have to say I have a long way to go, but I think the progress Dick and the team, and Marcos, have been able to accomplish - I feel good about it.

"If you talked to me, maybe six months ago, I would say, 'wow what did I get myself into' but quite honestly there's a tremendous amount of competition.

"People in the sport have been there, they understand, they have people from an engineering standpoint and we had to really build that.

"We started with one car ... Dick said 'we need to run two cars', I said 'we need to run one properly' and I think we've learned a lot that way.

"We made the decision, we did decide because we were here in New Zealand we'd hire a New Zealand driver for next year - Coulthard," he joked.

Fabian Coulthard joins Pye at the team next season for the expansion to two cars and was hoping to put on a show for his future boss this weekend and return to the winners' circle.

Pye, in the #17 DJR Team Penske, finished today's two practice sessions in fifth and sixth position at the ITM 500 Auckland.

Stay In The Know
Sign up to the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Newsletter