Triple Eight boss hits out at Penske blame game
Triple Eight boss Roland Dane says DJR Team Penske is 'justifying its own performance' through claims the factory Holdens have a straighline speed advantage.
There has been a lingering tension between the two powerhouse squads throughout the current season, largely centred around the new ZB Commodore.
It started with questions being raised over the weight of the hatchback's panels at the very beginning of the season, while the latest issue being pushed by the leading Ford squad is the aerodynamic efficiency of the Holdens.
Penske driver Scott McLaughlin made his thoughts on the straighline speed of the Triple Eight cars public several times across the Sandown weekend, with claims that he felt he was losing two car lengths to the Commodores on the long back straight.
Those claims were bolstered by a dominant display from the three Triple Eight cars, which locked out the podium at a canter.
T8 boss Dane, however, isn't have a bar of it. He says his team's Sandown dominance was part of the natural ebb and flow of a close battle for the title, and urged T8's pitlane neighbours to concentrate on their own performance rather than 'throwing mud' at others.
"Don’t forget that only two race meetings ago, Scotty was on pole, we were playing catch-up with [Penske] and trying to out-strategise them at Sydney Motorsport Park to win," said Dane.
"We didn’t have quite the speed that night. It’s a rollercoaster that’ll ebb and flow.
"The difference between us and [DJRTP] is, when we get beaten, we don’t blame everyone else.
"We put our heads down and work harder, instead of saying there’s some inherent advantage or something that we have.
"That’s the difference between us, we have a different philosophy. We want to continue to look in at what we can do better, rather than look outside and throw mud in people.
"To be honest, they might be saying that to the outside world because they’re trying to justify their performance this weekend.
The reality is, if you look at where the performance was, our straightline speed is not deficient, but it’s not really any better. What we had this weekend was very, very good corner exit and drive. The in-car vision will show you that.
"To try and claim that it’s down to some massive change that’s suddenly come about since the last long straight is codswallop, it’s not the case."
Dane also fired shots over recent comments from the Penske camp that the Supercars testing regulations are too rigid to encourage international stars to compete at the endurance races, pointing to Earl Bamber's impressive debut at Sandown as an example.
"Honestly, when I hear their comments about you can’t have other drivers come into this category because you don’t give them enough testing and everything... then you see, hang on, Earl Bamber looked pretty good for a bloke who’s never done a Supercar race before," said Dane.
"He did a pretty mega job with an hour of practice.
"But according to them you need to give umpteen test days and everything to have an international driver come and play. It’s not the case."
The Triple Eight/DJR Team Penske battle resumes in just over a fortnight on the biggest stage in Australian motorsport, the Bathurst 1000.
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