Home' V8X Supercar Magazine : Jun Jul 2016 Issue 93 Contents 37
nity to get involved with the Penske organisation. We --
myself, Dick, Steve Brabeck and Campbell Little -- went
to the United States to meet Tim Cindric and Roger
Penske (in November, 2013) and I started that relation-
ship with Tim from that point in time.
They gave me the opportunity when we became DJR
Team Penske to step up to a more formalised role of
running the team. And that faith was based upon what
they saw I'd done with DJR and the business plan that
I put together.
They looked at others as well, didn't they?
Roger had established the Penske commercial-vehicles
business here in Australia, having purchased from Trans
Pacific the MAN, Western Star and Dennis Eagle busi-
nesses in July of that year (and also the
MTU marine and industrial powerplants
agency) and, basically, they were
looking at how they could incorpo-
rate a similar business plan from
the marketing point of view that
they'd used in the States (pro-
moting Penske Corporation
activities through racing).
In the preceding 12 months,
nothing was certain, but we
were the only team that they
invited to come across. But
they had approaches from other
teams and also evaluated other
teams as well.
So what difference has Roger Penske's
The obvious benefit is that stable level of investment.
But on top of that it's the disciplines, the procedures,
the presentation. And Roger will be the first to tell you,
you get the presentation right first and the success on
track will follow that. I think that we're making strong
inroads on both.
But, really, the biggest thing they've brought is that
disciplined approach, the procedures to go racing -- not
to mention that from the commercial point of view, I
think we do it better than anyone else when it comes
to delivering real business-to-business outcomes. That's
incredibly important to Roger and he's engaged in those
All Roger's operations look classy and every detail
is attended to. The 'Penske way' was imposed on
the team, wasn't it?
From day one. The level of expectation from day one
was that if we are to bear the name Penske, we'll repre-
sent that in the best possible way, commensurate with
how it's represented across his entire business.
Roger is a remarkable person in some many
aspects. I've known him for 20 years or more but
you deal with him on a different level, so what's he
like to work with on a regular basis?
The degree of intensity is what surprised me most of all;
how engaged he is with everything he does. It's talking
about a budget, working through a budget, line-by-line.
The man's financial acuity is second to none. But then
when we get to a racetrack -- and last year when he
joined us at racetracks other than New Zealand -- we
weren't necessarily firing on all cylinders, shall we say.
But Roger was the first one in the truck with the
engineers, working through the debriefs, asking the
appropriate questions that for him, at least, helped him
understand why we weren't doing as well as what we
should have been.
And that's really what I've been taken the most about
him and his approach, that he rolls up his sleeves and
he's heavily involved in every aspect of the business.
At the racetrack, the way he engages with fans is the
same way he engages with his business partners and the
team sponsors. He's all-in.
A lot of Australians didn't have a solid comprehen-
sion of just how successful a businessman he is. They
may remember the two red and white IndyCars, but
understanding the scope and scale of the NASCAR team,
not to mention the fact that he employs 50,000 people
worldwide, is not all that well known here.
He's one of the largest car dealers worldwide; the
truck fleet in the United States is the largest fleet in the
world. It's an extraordinary story. And we are effectively
the standard-bearer of that brand here in Australia,
helping drive that name recognition.
So with his investment and the NASCAR-style
rolling sponsorship model you've adopted, the
team is on a very solid financial footing. It now
has the funding to aim for the top, doesn't it?
It does and it allows us to continue to march forward to
improve. And we're still not satisfied with what we do on
the track as well as what we do back at the shop.
There's still so much more that we need to do and
we're continuing to make big inroads. And part of it,
even coming into this year, we had a lot of fresh faces in
addition to adding on the second car program.
We're invested pretty heavily both from a financial
BROUGHT IS THAT
TO GO RACING."
ABOVE: Foges gets to know
Ryan Story and his rise
from fan to team boss.
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