Team Manager, Engineer, RD’s right-hand man, gym junkie and full-time Body Science protein product consumer, Mark “Dutto” Dutton is a man with many talents (don’t tell him we said that though, we like to keep him guessing).
You’ve no doubt seen his face plastered all over TV, and between running the whole show and doing push-ups he’s… well, he’s actually not doing anything else, it’s a 24/7 job! With no spare time in sight, Dutto runs off pure determination and is the biggest consumer of Red Bull on the team.
We managed to crash-tackle Dutto on his way between his desk and the workshop floor and forced him to tell us more about the world’s busiest man.
You came with the building, right? How long have you been with Triple Eight?
Yeah, and not even the current building at that, I am one of the few that have been here longer than the furniture. I put it down to red tape and over-protective unfair dismissal laws keeping me employed! I started at Brigg’s Motorsport in 2002, which Triple Eight bought out September 2003, so it’s been a fair stint.
Before you started living life in the fast lane, what were you up to?
I have always been the type to get into adventures. So, before being involved in Supercars, I was studying to be an engineer, playing rugby, travelling and generally not getting a whole lot of sleep. In saying that, not much has changed! Engineer/Manager, sport, travel and still no sleep!
Those playing at home are familiar with the face, but not necessarily the work, what’s your day job?
Depends on the day, but also, the location. So for me, it is whether I am at the factory or at a track. To be honest, I am still learning my current role, and I am fortunate enough to have the best in Australia as my mentor, Roland, and I still have a lot to learn.
It is a privilege and honour to be put in to a position to lead such an amazing team of people. I am still attached (maybe too much) to the technical and engineering side of things, whether that is offering my two cents in race engineering or designing cool stuff. I am just working on getting the balance right.
If you weren’t in Supercars, what would you be doing?
I always find peoples’ answer to this type of question funny, the professional chess player who, if not playing chess, would be an Olympic sprinter! For me, there are two ways to answer it, what you literally would have been doing or what time over again you may attempt to do…
Version 1 – Getting into Supercars was a fork in the road for me, I was a week out from heading to the UK to do the whole working visa thing for a couple of years with my brother when I got my first job offer in Supercars. My brother, Phil, is still in London, travelling more for fun than work, I imagine I would still be there having adventures with him and other mates, and talking my way out of many international jails.
Version 2 – Time over again, I would be curious to see if I put the same time into my rugby that I have into Supercars and whether that could have lead somewhere. I also would have loved to be a pilot in the Defence Force; I have immense respect for all defence personnel.
The best piece of advice for someone looking to get into motorsport?
Sacrifice! You want to impress me, work harder than me.
The best part of working at Triple Eight?
Being part of a world-class team, knowing that when we bring our A-game, we are tough to beat. The feeling of having that confidence, and deservedly so, is pretty special. That is not arrogance, that is hard work and commitment from everyone involved.
What’s your favourite event?
Bathurst, there is nothing like it. It gives you tingles, the atmosphere is truly electric. You always try and downplay any event in your mind as ‘just another day’ so that you don’t get distracted, keep calm and cool. But, on the grid, before the race starts at Bathurst, that adrenaline lets you know you are alive!