Mark ‘Dutto’ Dutton will return to his old position at Red Bull Racing AU this weekend at the Townsville 400 taking over David Cauchi as Jamie Whincup’s engineer. The change is hopped to reignite Whincup’s title hopes in 2015.
Whincup’s now ‘former’ engineer David Cauchi replaced Dutton at the start of 2014 after the later was promoted to Team Manager after Adrian Burgess’s departure in mid 2013.
While Cauchi/Whincup pairing scored a record 6th V8 Supercars championship title in 2014 the pair have failed to produce a top 5 result in the past 7 races this season, leading to the engineer switch for the remainder of the season.
Cauchi will step back into a “wingman” position the remainder of the season.
“It’s a bit more than he used to be in a data role; it’s a more a performance engineer than a data man,” he said.
“Ludo has been helping Cauchi in the background but we needed to formalise that arrangement and make it more structured.”
Dutton however will not be Whincup’s engineer after Townsville as Technical Director Ludo Lacroix will take over engineering duties from Ipswich onwards.
Frenchman Lacroix was Whincup’s original engineer when he joined Triple Eight in 2006.
Team owner, Roland Dane, will fall into Dutton’s regular Team Manager position and also says that the engineer switch was to take pressure of the team and Cauchi.
“It’s just to take the pressure off,” Dane told Speedcafe.
“We just got too much pressure on the system and we need to make it work better.
“He (Cauchi) still part of the team and part of the family and will be for a long time.
“We’ve just got to relieve the pressure and give the confidence to Jamie that he needs and the crew around him and stop caning David as hard.”