Internationally renowned Belgian motor racing team manager Didier Debae has been confirmed as Operations Manager of the V8 SuperTourer series.
“You would have to look long and hard on a global scale to find someone of Didier’s experience, reputation and ability,” commented V8 SuperTourer Managing Director Mark Petch.
Didier brings a wealth of experience to the role which is unrivalled in any New Zealand series. He has previously worked as team manager for the likes of Tom Walkinshaw Racing and Williams Touring Car Engineering in the European and British Touring Car Championships respectively.
He also has extensive experience in World Touring Car Championship Series management as well as the DTM German Touring Car Championship. He worked in Formula 1 as CEO for Asiatech, the French company responsible for supplying the Peugeot Formula One engines to the Arrows and Prost teams. Didier was also F1 driver Giorgio Pantano’s personal manager for many years and as such knows the sport from every angle.
“Didier now lives in New Zealand and is a former colleague of Paul Radisich and we have to thank Paul for introducing him to us earlier this year when he volunteered to assist Paul at our first race meeting,” added Petch.
“Since then Didier has been responsible for managing our teams over the race weekend, so we know him very well now and our teams know and respect him, so I am delighted that he has put his hand up to work for us on a full-time basis as our Operations Manager. We also deal with a number of suppliers in foreign countries and it’s very beneficial that Didier also speaks so many languages (five) fluently.”
Looking forward to the new role, Debae commented: “The V8 SuperTourer series simply has all of the basic ingredients for success in place. The cars look great, are well engineered and sound fantastic, the drivers love them, the races are exciting and I am very confident that we are now on top of our teething issues.
“I can tell you from first-hand experience that this is a remarkable achievement and both Pace Innovations Australia and our own technical team have done a brilliant job in delivering such a fast and reliable package to the teams. The V8ST series has done it considerably quicker than many new international championships, and on a tiny budget compared to other series I have witnessed over the years,” he added.
“V8 SuperTourers has every box ticked on the sporting side and I can only see an ever-increasing demand from domestic and international drivers to be part of it, and I have already had expressions of interest from some of motorsports big name’s that I have worked with in past years. I have a passionate and talented support team around me, as well as some fantastic teams in the series running the cars. It’s going to be fun and exciting and there is no question that we are going to raise the game even further in New Zealand.”