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How ex-Kangaroo can drive DJR forward

THE opportunity to bring a holistic sports administration approach can benefit the Shell V-Power Racing Team, according to its new CEO David Noble.

Motorsport is a specialist industry with plenty of differences to the AFL arena which Noble arrives from. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

“It’s a different skillset, isn’t it?” Noble told V8 Sleuth.

“It’s a different range of experiences that sort of blend together with what’s already there.

“We’ve got some great people that have been there for a long period of time that have got some great success.

“I think it creates opportunity, it creates discussions internally as to whether or not we can do things slightly better – that marginal gains process where there are elements of solving problems or solutions, particularly when we have got two new cars coming in next year.”

Marginal gains is a philosophy which Noble is fond of; one which he says involves “finding small incremental improvements in your business”.

“Being able to deliver those processes so that you can deliver on outcomes is something that correlates strongly across the two sports,” Noble added.

The 55-year-old was long a key behind-the-scenes figure at the Adelaide Crows and Brisbane Lions, before coaching the North Melbourne Kangaroos in seasons 2021 and 2022.

“I was keen to stay involved at a national level of elite sport in probably more of an executive role than a coaching role,” he said.

Noble attended the Repco Bathurst 1000 in October, which happened to be Dick Johnson Racing’s 1000th Supercars Championship race.

Immediately the Ford team’s standards and attention to detail impressed him, and the more he spoke to the likes of founder Dick Johnson, the more he yearned to become part of its leadership.

While a passionate footy man, Noble has followed motorsport since his childhood and purchased a 1965 Ford Mustang in recent years.

“I used to love the battles between Dick and Brocky (Peter Brock), and Brocky and (Allan) Moffat,” he said.

“In the context of being a competitive person myself, I used to love the battles between Ford and Holden.”

DJR will hope to turn the tables on Triple Eight Race Engineering when Gen3 arrives next season after two years of domination by the latter.

“The Shell V-Power Racing Team is one of those organisations that I feel very privileged and lucky to get a chance to work inside,” said Noble.

“We do a lot of things right; there’s no doubt that DJR does a lot of things right, so it’s not about revamping, it’s now about improving and me coming in to complement what’s there and continue to drive that success.”

With Ryan Story moving on from a day-to-day role and into the position of non-executive chairman, Noble joins new majority shareholder Brett Ralph in the revamped DJR leadership ranks.

Ralph has proven successful not only in business, through Jet Couriers, but in sport through his stakes in teams including the Melbourne Storm (NRL) and Melbourne Aces (Australian Baseball League).

“He has got a very strong methodology in the process that he wants to be operating by,” Noble said of Ralph.

“He has got a very strong set of standards and principles that he stands for as an individual and I think it lines up with our group extremely well and certainly from my side of things, my own personal values, it certainly fits in that same dynamic.”

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