With a recent re-structure within the team that saw Team Manager, Mark Dutton, move across to engineer Jamie Whincup’s #1 car at the races, it meant there was a void in the way of an on-track Team Manager… And who better to fill the void than current Team Owner and once team manager himself, Roland Dane.
To get a little more insight into how the transition has been, we caught five minutes with RD as we head into the Queensland Raceway round next week.
You stepped back into the Team Manager’s position in Townsville in-line with the team’s restructuring, how was the transition from the back of the garage to the Prat Perch again?
I love being in the thick of it, but I worry that I am getting too old for it! It’s easier because I know that, ultimately, it’s a temporary situation.
You mentioned that working in the team manager’s role for the weekend made you realise how much the team has developed and moved forward since you were doing the roll last, what did you mean by that?
The maturity of the personnel and their ability to communicate effectively with each other more than ever has meant that I don’t have to get as involved as before. Everyone is very capable of dealing with not only their own areas of responsibility but also ensuring that they’ve all got each other’s backs.
We know that Mark Dutton who was in a full-time team management role with the team is going to continue to engineer Car #1 for the rest of the season at the track, but will he continue with team management duties once back at the shop?
Absolutely. He’s extremely good at it and it also allows me to focus on team commercial matters as well as V8 Supercar issues.
The last race in Townsville was promising, with great pace from both cars as they came through the field. It must be somewhat of a shot of confidence heading into what’s essentially the team’s home round at Queensland Raceway?
At least we finished the Townsville weekend on a positive note, given that we were way too conservative on the Saturday. But we’ve still got plenty to go when we roll out at QR and we haven’t been there for almost a year, like most of the other teams.
Success comes from a number of reasons, not just one thing like many are suggesting is the case with Prodrive, what’s clicked for them this year to be getting the consistent results they’re getting and how are we going to close the gap coming into the second half of the season?
They’ve been there or thereabouts for many years frankly. The difference, for me, this year is that whilst Craig is performing well and in line with his moving average over the last few years, Jamie hasn’t been. So I regard the issue as more a case of us not performing at our overall best as a team, rather than Prodrive doing anything very different. That is clearly apparent from our failure to be the best Holden’s on some occasions this year.