Shell V-Power Racing Team announces team restructure
Dr Ryan Story returns as Team Principal, Ludo Lacroiz departs
Anton De Pasquale finished eighth, Will Davison 10th in 2023
The Shell V-Power Racing Team has announced a team restructure, which sees Dr Ryan Story return as Team Principal and Ludo Lacroix depart.
Dick Johnson Racing will implement a number of changes to its team structure, with co-owner Story heading up the team in 2024.
Ben Croke, who has held the Team Principal role since 2021, will return as Team Manager.
The departure of engineer Lacroix sees Perry Kapper shifted to Anton De Pasquale’s car, with Richard Harris remaining with Will Davison. Mark Fenning, meanwhile, takes over as Director of Engineering.
Kapper recently oversaw wind tunnel testing with fellow DJR staff in the United States, with Supercars sending a DJR-owned Ford Mustang and Triple Eight-owned Chevrolet Camaro to North Carolina's Windshear facility.
DJR won one race in 2023, courtesy of De Pasquale in Townsville, with De Pasquale eighth and Davison 10th in the drivers' standings. DJR, meanwhile, finished fifth in the teams' championship.
“2023 was a challenging year for us and certainly not at the level we aspire to be,” DJR CEO David Noble said.
“We have learnt an enormous amount this year not only about the cars but, in particular, about ourselves. We have spent time reviewing the year and considering change.
“We pay tribute to the enormous effort of our staff and particularly thank Ludo for his contribution over many years and respect his decision to step back.
“In welcoming back Ryan to the fold and to have the experience and depth of talent in Mark Fenning and Perry Kapper in our engineering department, we have begun our 2024 preparations in earnest.”
Story returns to the Team Principal role after stepping back due to ongoing health challenges. He was at the helm for the team's run of three straight drivers' titles between 2018 and 2020.
“Following a few years of health challenges, I’m delighted to return to the role of team principal," said Story, who was recognised in the 2022 Queen's Birthday honours.
“We have a strong foundation upon which to build, and this restructure is all about looking towards the future for the Shell V-Power Racing Team.
“Ludo will be sorely missed and we cannot thank him enough for his contribution to our successes over many years.
"Mark and Perry in particular have led us through the Windshear program and redressing the imbalances that have faced us in 2023.
“I’m excited at the challenges ahead of us."
DJR co-owner Dick Johnson said: “Ryan is like a son to me and to welcome him back into this role means the world to all of us.
“We have great people, the best supporters and the best partners in the business. Bring on 2024."
The Ford squad's 2024 campaign will commence at the Thrifty Bathurst 500 on February 23-25, with pre-season testing slated for early February.