JTG/Daugherty Racing will embark on a technical alliance with Hendrick Motorsports in 2018.
JTGD currently fields the Nos. 37 and 47 Chevrolets in the Monster Energy Cup Series for drivers Chris Buescher and AJ Allmendinger. The drivers are currently 25th and 28th, respectively, in the standings.
“So we’re hoping to improve our simulation capabilities and our measurement protocols; then we’ll do our own aero development,” team owner Tad Geschickter told motorsport.com. “Most of those great teams have their own aerodynamic development, and it’s not a part of what they share. So with General Motors' help, and bringing Dave Charpentier in along with Ernie (Cope, JTGD competition director), we feel we finally have the expertise and capability to do that work ourselves. And that’s what we’re going to, start standing on our own two feet a little bit.
“But, yeah, I think Hendrick will bring a lot to the table to help us get better on our base product and our simulation and where we’re at on it.”
Geschickter hired Charpentier as director of engineering in August. The former naval engineer moved to the team side with Dale Earnhardt Inc. in 1999. Charpentier worked as a crew chief and technical director at DEI. He most recently worked in Richard Childress Racing’s engineering department.
“We’re really ramping up our engineering department with Dave’s leadership there,” Geschickter added. “Ernie’s a great aero guy, knows how to build race cars. We just felt like this is the next step in our development.
“We need to be better at simulation and measurement protocols and the Hendrick Motorsports folks are really going to help us there. Learning our own aero stuff will be important because it’s becoming a bigger part of racing.”
JTGD will continue to use RCR-based ECR engines next season.
“The ECR engine program has been really reliable for us,” Geschickter said. “We had a contract, and it made sense for the team to do that.”