Roger Penske is leaving Supercars, and taking Scott McLaughlin with him to IndyCar, but Dick Johnson Racing will continue into its 41st season in 2021.
Confirmation of the long-rumoured withdrawal of the American billionaire, who achieved all his objectives in Supercars but was never able to build the Australian motoring empire he originally planned, comes as no surprise.
Instead, the focus is on the future as Dick Johnson and his brilliant team principal Dr Ryan Story re-focus and revitalise the team.
The major backers of Shell V-Power Racing are all expected to continue into the 2021 season with Will Davison and Anton de Pasquale taking over behind the wheels of teams title winning Ford Mustangs.
There is no confirmation of drivers or team details yet, beyond McLaughlin’s return as an endurance co-driver, but Dick Johnson is bullish about the future of his team.
“As we enter the next chapter at DJR, we look forward to what lies ahead for our team,” says the Supercars legend.
“It has been an honour to partner with Roger Penske and everyone from Team Penske over these last six seasons, but we understand the challenges that everyone has faced worldwide in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re thankful that we were able to conclude our partnership with our third driver and team championships together this season.
“We want to thank Scott for his professionalism on and off the track. He is a generational talent and we are excited he will join us as a co-driver at next year’s Repco Bathurst 1000 in October. We know Scott is in a great position with Team Penske for the future and we wish him all the luck in the world as he begins his IndyCar career.”
The Penske news is really no news, as there has been widespread speculation about a withdrawal since the unfortunate events at Bathurst in 2019.
Roger Penske was personally offended by the cheating allegations levelled at the team, which were strenuously denied, and that – together with the impact of the coronavirus and the team’s on-track success – tipped him towards an inevitable decision to end his control of DJR Team Penske.
For now, Johnson and Story are focussed on the work to continue the team’s success next year.
“We have truly amazing people in our team – the same people that have been the driving force behind the race wins and championships we have won over the past six years,” says Johnson.
“We also have a fantastic and committed group of partners, who remain in lockstep with us for 2021 and beyond, and some of the most passionate and loyal fans in motor sport. With that kind of support and experience, we are ready to build on our success with the Shell V-Power Racing Team.”