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Monday, March 4, 2024

Supercars chief Burgess to hitch Crew 18 as staff principal

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Burgess is to hitch the squad, which can discipline David Reynolds alongside Mark Winterbottom in a new-look driver lineup, on 1 February 2024.

This implies a reunion between English engineer Burgess and staff proprietor Charlie Schwerkolt, rekindling their profitable partnership that led to championship success at Dick Johnson Racing with James Courtney in 2010.

Burgess will depart the Supercars organisation early next year, ending his five-year tenure within the place throughout which he oversaw the arrival of Gen3 guidelines for 2023 – though its first yr has been dogged by grumblings over parity between the Chevrolet Camaro and Ford Mustang.

Burgess has been primarily based in Australia for nearly 20 years, becoming a member of Dick Johnson Racing in 2006 and successful the title with Courtney in 2010 as its sporting director earlier than taking an extra three championships on the trot with Jamie Whincup as staff principal of Triple Eight.

He spent three and a half years as managing director of Walkinshaw Racing from 2014 to 2017, then had a short spell at Tekno Autosports earlier than becoming a member of the organising physique in October 2018.

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“It’s extremely thrilling to welcome Adrian Burgess as staff principal commencing early subsequent yr,” mentioned Schwerkolt. “I’m actually happy to reunite with Adrian, our historical past collectively goes again so far as 2006 a spotlight being the championship success we celebrated collectively in 2010.

“This appointment is a good coup for the staff and Adrian can be a worthwhile chief with the abilities and expertise to carry the outcomes we’re all striving for.

Photograph by: Daniel Kalisz / Motorsport Images

Adrian Burgess, Ludo Lacroix

“There’s a huge quantity to attain at Team 18 shifting forwards, and I imagine Adrian will have the ability to take the staff to a brand new stage and finest place us for better success within the years to return.”

Burgess added: “It’s thrilling to get the band again along with Charlie. I’m not underestimating the dimensions of the duty, the competitors is extremely fierce and it’s one of the vital aggressive championships on the planet.

“Crew 18 total is in a fantastic form, it confirmed that this yr in Darwin. I’m trying ahead to getting on deck, persevering with their nice tradition and dealing cohesively with everybody to deal with aiming for podiums and constant performances each weekend and finally get ourselves ready the place we are able to combat for championships, that’s the objective.”

However the transfer has drawn criticism from the administration of the 2 groups preventing for the championship.

Erebus Motorsport CEO Barry Ryan and Triple Eight Crew Supervisor Mark Dutton are each sad in regards to the upcoming swap, which doesn’t look like topic to the frequent gardening go away provisions that might in any other case delay the beginning date for a brand new position.

Requested whether or not Burgess needs to be allowed to maneuver to a staff so shortly, Dutton replied: “No he shouldn’t be. It’s actually, actually that straightforward. You have to have a non-compete [clause] at this stage.”

“I echo Mark’s ideas,” added Ryan. “It’s a loopy state of affairs that somebody can have all that information and never have some type of restriction on them.

“Each different sport on the planet, there’s no manner it will have been allowed to occur. So, it’s one thing that Supercars have gotten to have a look at and repair, I believe, however that’s simply my opinion.”

Adrian Burgess

Photograph by: Dirk Klynsmith / Motorsport Images

Adrian Burgess

Burgess’s Supercars HOM position can be stuffed by Tim Edwards, the long-time Crew Principal and CEO of Tickford Racing, who’s in his final occasion in that position this weekend.

“It’s not occurred earlier than; somebody from Supercars crossing the divide with a lot data and it’s in all probability extra related now than it’s ever been,” mentioned Edwards.

“As a result of up to now, even when you knew the [suspension] pick-up factors of all the totally different automobiles, everybody’s uprights [are] designed in another way, everybody had totally different engines, there was much more variations with the automotive.

“Whereas now, after we’ve all received precisely the identical pick-up factors, the identical dampers, all these issues, it does develop into extra of a problem than it’s ever in all probability been up to now due to the similarity of the automobiles.”

Whereas there was some drama off the observe, the on-track motion was considerably muted, with moist climate all through the only 30-minute apply session. Chaz Mostert was quickest in his WAU Ford Mustang, away from Andre Heimgartner (Brad Jones Racing Chevrolet Camaro) and Matt Payne (Grove Racing Ford).

Factors chief Brodie Kostecki was ninth quickest in his Erebus Chevrolet, whereas Shane van Gisbergen, the one different driver in title competition, was twenty second quickest after attempting slick tyres on the damp circumstances.

On Friday the Adelaide road circuit hosts one other 30-minute apply session earlier than qualifying at 5:35pm native time, for Saturday’s 250km opening race.

The 2023 Supercars season concludes at this weekend’s Adelaide 500, earlier than the 2024 season kicks off on the Bathurst 500 on 23-25 February.

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