Team 18 are ready to take on the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend, as Nulon Racing’s Scott Pye is set to make his 300th Supercars start on home turf.

Born and raised in Adelaide, Pye made his Supercars debut in 2012 and has been a regular contender since then as a race winner in the category and scoring multiple podium finishes.

The Melbourne-based South Australian heads to The Bend off the back of a recent turn of pace in the Nulon Racing Commodore at the last two events that saw a fifth place finish in Race 19 at Townsville.

IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom is confident the team can carry over their speed from Darwin and Townsville that saw Winterbottom score six top-ten finishes from the last seven races.

Situated 100km south-east of South Australia’s capital city, Adelaide, The Bend Motorsport Park is inspired by some of the world’s most iconic race circuits and is Australia’s only circuit to comply with the latest FIA Grade 2 and FIM Category A standards, allowing to host such categories as MotoGP and the World Endurance Championship. 

While The Bend offers up to eight different circuit configurations, the Supercars Championship competes on the 4.945km ‘International’ circuit which combines a number of technical corners, undulating sections and fast-flowing areas.

The OTR The Bend SuperSprint features the return of a two-day format, with cars first hitting the track for Practice 1 on Saturday at 9:35am local time.

All three races will be staged over 24 laps on the Dunlop Soft Tyre, with Race 21 of the championship held on Saturday, and Races 22 and 23 hold on Sunday afternoon.

The three-part knockout qualifying format returns for Saturday, with each part lasting 10 minutes each. Two back-to-back all-in 10-minute sessions will set the grid for Races 22 and 23 respectively.

All the action can be viewed live on Fox Sports and Kayo, with post-race highlights shown on free-to-air channel 7Mate.

QUOTES

Scott Pye, #20 Nulon Racing Holden ZB Commodore 

“Born and Bred in Adelaide, getting the opportunity to come and race here and stay after the event as well to see my mum is always good.

“We’re fortunate we have two races back in South Australia which is really exciting with the Adelaide 500 returning later in the year, but The Bend is a cool event as well with plenty of fans on the hill and camping here.

“You get the best of both worlds in Adelaide with an amazing permanent facility which the Shahins have built, and the other end of the scale with the street circuit which is fantastic for the city, the two events offer both things in scale and exciting racing is always had at both tracks.

“To reach 300 races is huge achievement and one I’m really proud of. Since we started racing having longevity in your career means you are able to sustain that by getting results so I’m something I’m proud of to still be here and have opportunities to go racing and get race wins.

Mark Winterbottom, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

“I think the results at Townsville could have been really strong especially on Sunday, we had dramas in qualifying but the car was really quick in the race.

“The Bend is a good test as it can be really good or bad for you as it can expose a fast or bad car. Track position is important as it’s very hard to pass with minimal tyre degradation and it’s all the one compound tyre and one pit stop, so race pace is always important but if you qualify well it’s key.

“The Bend is tricky, it’s a high-aero track and wind and weather conditions can make it a tricky weekend trying to adapt to those conditions. Two sessions are never alike and that’s part of the challenge too, nailing a lap, you get one lap on a set of tyres and beating all those factors tat come into play gets you a good result here.

“I feel like our team is definitely getting stronger, I’m excited for the weekend. I think the last eight races we were top ten without dramas so our gauge has to be top ten on an average day, top five on a good day and going for trophies from there.”