Team 18 finalises Gen3 Supercars engineering line-up
Team 18 has confirmed its engineering lineup for the two Chevrolet Camaros it will field in the 2023 Supercars Championship.
The Melbourne-based team’s pit wall will be fronted by team owner and principal Charlie Schwerkolt, team manager Bruin Beasley and team principal Dennis Hujiser.
Team 18’s race engineering department remains unchanged with veteran championship and Bathurst winning engineer Richard Hollway to stay on as Scott Pye’s race engineer on car #20.
Having come agonizingly close to the team’s first win on Saturday, Pye wondered what could have been after Adelaide and will be determined to match similar pace.
Experienced Manuel Sanchez will continue to call the shots in car #18 driven by journeyman Mark Winterbottom, who is set for his 20th full-time season and first with a new sponsor.
The pair have teamed up in car #18 for three consecutive years where a top 10 championship finish has been achieved each time.
Despite the core engineering group remaining stable for the new Gen3 season, there is an injection of fresh blood amongst the team.
Julia McGarry has been brought on as a data and systems engineer and will work with Sanchez on “Frosty’s” car.
On the #20 car side of the garage, Mark Sylvester will perform the data and systems role and support Holloway at race events.
Schwerkolt said he felt a great atmosphere around the Mount Waverley base and believed the engineering line-up would push the team forward in its quest for a first win since its debut in 2013.
“We hit the ground running in 2023 with some new faces around the workshop bringing a fresh energy to the team,” he said.
“Brown [Beasley] and Dennis [Huijser] has assembled an incredible team of people for the season ahead.
“Our engineering department contains a wealth of experience and talent that we feel will put us in the best position to meet the challenges that the new technical regulations have brought this year.
“With two great drivers in our stable, we are looking forward to hitting the track and giving it everything we have to start the year on a high.”
Experienced Formula 1, sports car and Supercars engineer Tony Dowe remains in the purchasing manager role and oversaw the arrival of Gen3 components for the team’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Supercars.
The new Gen3 era marks the birth of a new era for the team, being the first season it will race with in-house built Supercars having raced with Ford Performance Racing, Walkinshaw and Triple Eight Race Engineering machinery in the past.
Schwerkolt described the build as “monumental”, with chassis now allocated to drivers Winterbottom and Pye, as preparations continue to ramp up ahead of testing in the coming weeks.
“We know the amount of work that has gone into getting our Camaros together has been huge so far, but I feel we are in a very good position heading into the start of the new season,” he said.
“It was a team effort throughout, with everyone pitching in to bring both cars to life.
“It’s a monumental opportunity for the team to build our cars in-house for the first time, with T18-001 driven by Scott [Pye] and T18-002 by Mark [Winterbottom].
“Even now the cars have been allocated to a driver, it will not change how we prepare them to the point of hitting the track for testing and Round 1.”
The new team of 18 Chevrolet Camaros will race at the Newcastle 500 for the first time from March 10 to 12.
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