Ludo Lacroix: What the changes have in store…

It’s only Red Bull Racing Australia’s second season in V8 Supercars but already the 2013 championship-winning team has undergone major change ahead of the season-opening round in Adelaide later this month.

Having helped J-Dub and Lowndesy to first and second in the championship respectively last season, head engineers Mark Dutton and Jeromy Moore have been elevated in status – the former to team manager and the latter to chief designer.

No engineers have been more successful the past seven years. And on the back of the mid-season departure of the team’s previous manager in 2013, the duo proved more than capable of taking over the reins by helping guide Red Bull Racing Australia to both the teams’ and drivers’ championships.

It was a massive feat but by no means a fluke, as Dutto and JJ have been groomed by team owner Roland Dane and technical expert Ludo Lacroix since Triple Eight’s inception way back in 2003.

For Ludo, their rise through the ranks from junior mechanics to team heads inspires a lot of personal satisfaction. He insists the team is in good hands.

“These guys have been here since the start and it’s our style of managing to nurture and promote from within,” Ludo says.

“So it’s particularly satisfying to witness their progression over the past 10 years to where they are now. They’re the two best engineers in the series I think.

“Fans forget that motor racing isn’t just about a driver and a car – good people are a big part of it. People are probably 60 per cent of motor racing.

“We don’t have robots making the cars and making decisions, it’s humans. At the end of the day you need good people working together as one and that’s what we have with these two and our entire team.

“Eight of us, including me and Roland, have been here since day one. It’s very satisfying “

And while the announcement wasn’t made until last month of just who would lead the team forward, Ludo says that the decision for he and RD was made a long time ago.

“It was a very easy decision to make and I think it’s a good thing,” Ludo continues.

“We weren’t planning on it happening so soon but given the opportunity, they proved more than capable. The results speak for themselves.

“And of course, it also means other people in the team are being promoted which keeps everyone fresh and motivated.

“It’s a great thing and everyone is very excited for the season.”

David Cauchi, who was lent to Lucas Dumbrell Motorsport last season as part of Triple Eight’s customer car program, returns full-time to Red Bull this season to fill Dutto’s previous role on the No.1 car with J-Dub.

So, if anything in 2014, with RD still hands-on and Ludo champing at the bit, the Triple Eight family is stronger than ever.