Kelly Racing has announced that it has recruited Craig Spencer in a newly-created role as General Manager of Technical and Engineering Operations, following the departure of former performance director Tony Dowe earlier this week, who left to join Walkinshaw Racing as Engineering and Development Manager.

Spencer who most recently held a senior engineering position in the Mercedes Formula 1 team, will join Kelly Racing in the newly created role after the Dick Smith Sandown 500 in September.

The Australian has had a long-time involvement in the V8 Supercars Championship, having worked for nine years in the sport, including with Rick Kelly during his 2006 championship success. He has also considerable engineering F1 experience having worked for Team Lotus, Caterham and Jordan.

“Craig will bring significant relevant technical racing knowledge and practical know how to our team as we commence our build up to the 2013 COTF Nissan,” said team owner/driver Todd Kelly.

“Rick and I have always admired Craig’s talents and given the international experience he has gained at the elite end of European motorsport and F1, we know he will significantly lift the bar for our team and get into the action.”

British engineer, Dowe meanwhile, will oversee the Holden Racing Team and Supercheap Auto Racing teams, effective immediately.

“We are delighted Tony has agreed to join Walkinshaw Racing, he has a wealth of successful racing experience and adds considerable strength and depth to our competition and engineering departments,” said Walkinshaw Racing Managing Director Steve Hallam.

“The season’s most important events, the Dick Smith Sandown 500 and 50th Anniversary Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, are looming, while 2013 sees the introduction of the category’s new Car Of The Future chassis.

“It is vital for Walkinshaw Racing and our commercial partners that we have the resources and personnel to successfully meet those challenges, and Tony’s appointment gives us greater flexibility in achieving our goals.”