Team 18 drivers Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye finished eighth and ninth respectively in Race 1 of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship at the Thrifty Newcastle 500.

Qualifying saw Pye get up to speed early, placing ninth in the #20 Hino Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro and progressed through to the Top 10 Shootout.

Pye finished the shootout in ninth after a strong lap, less than two tenths of a second from the front row.

Winterbottom battled for qualifying pace to start Race 1 from 16th in the #18 DEWALT Racing Team 18 Camaro. As the race started, Winterbottom copped a hit from behind which dislodged a portion of his rear bumper, which fortunately held on for the remainder of the race.

Pye got off to a clean start and held eighth for the first stanza of the race before emerging in tenth after the pit stop cycle.

Pye showed strong pace when he caught and passed James Courtney with ten laps to go and took the chequered flag in ninth.

Winterbottom quietly moved up the pack, passing Courtney during the pit stop cycle and ultimately popped out in eighth position at the chequered flag to secure a dual top ten finish for Team 18 in the first race of the year.

Team 18 returns to action tomorrow for Qualifying at 11:15am, a Top 10 Shootout at 12:35pm and Race 2 of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship at 3:20pm, live on Channel 7 and Fox Sports.