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Ex-DJR driver behind new TCR team

THE newest team owner in the TCR Australia paddock drove for Dick Johnson Racing once upon a time.

The man behind 99motorsport is Marcus LaDelle, whose career behind the wheel included dabbling in categories such as Super2 and, as recently as this year, Toyota 86s.

It was in Super2, in 2006, that LaDelle joined forces with DJR.

The famous Ford squad had won the previous year’s title via Dean Canto and was fielding three cars in ’06, for Andrew Thompson, Grant Denyer and LaDelle.

Debuting at 21 years of age, LaDelle drove the DJR AU Falcon with which Paul Radisich swept the 2001 Supercars Championship round at Wanneroo Raceway.

Marcus LaDelle in 2006. Pic: an1images.com / Justin Deeley

LaDelle made a not-so-inconspicuous start to Super2 however, crashing heavily enough at Adelaide’s Turn 8 to be forced out of Round 2 at Wakefield Park.

He eventually returned and, guided by future championship-winning engineer Scott Sinclair, took a top five at Oran Park Raceway before dropping off the Supercar scene at the end of the season.

A return to the semi-professional sphere comes almost two decades later, having acquired the Audi RS 3 LMS which powered Chaz Mostert to the 2021 TCR Australia title.

LaDelle may even run two cars at the Sandown season-opener in February, but neither will be driven by him as he instead focuses on team manager duties.

Marcus LaDelle with the Audi he has acquired. Pic: Supplied

“99 started as a personal pursuit to run my own cars, but it’s now evolved with more of a developmental program through Formula RX8 and Toyota 86,” he said.

“TCR is the next step for those drivers, a great category that’s commercially viable and has great synergy with the market and manufacturer relevance.

“There’s a great opportunity to bring drivers in to TCR and then give them the platform to go race in Europe, and the World Tour running down here only amplifies that.”

In other TCR Australia news, twin brothers Brad and Will Harris have committed to the full 2024 season with Wall Racing.

Brad Harris will drive the latest specification Honda Civic Type R FL5, having purchased the car driven by Nestor Girolami in the 2023 TCR World Tour, while Will takes over the Civic FK7 that his brother scored victory aboard this year at Queensland Raceway.

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