Team 18 has announced that it has signed a multi-year contract extension with Supercars star Mark Winterbottom.

This deal will ensure the Supercars Champion and Bathurst winner will remain with the team for the next two seasons of the Supercars Championship.

Next year will see the introduction of the much-anticipated Gen3 technical regulations, with Winterbottom to get behind the wheel of a Chevrolet Camaro for the sport’s new era.

Winterbottom first joined Team 18 in 2019, and currently sits 12th in the series standings with 13 top ten finishes to date this year.

Winterbottom will remain teammates with Scott Pye in 2023, with Team 18 to continue their driver line-up for the fourth consecutive season.

Winterbottom will grid up in the #18 IRWIN Racing Team 18 Supercar for Race 28 and 29 of the Repco Supercars Championship this afternoon at Pukekohe Park Raceway at 12:55pm and 4:10pm.

QUOTES

Mark Winterbottom, #18 IRWIN Racing Team 18 Holden ZB Commodore

“It’s great. I really enjoy racing at Team 18, I really love working with Charlie and racing for him so it’s fantastic. 

I think the future looks really bright for us. The car next year and the program and how it’s going to happen should really suit Team 18, so yeah, I have signed there to try to win. It’s going to be a great couple of years and hopefully successful, that’s the plan.

“I’m really excited about Gen3 but at the same time I feel like I’m driving well, I feel like the team is going in the right direction. I race to win – I don’t race to just make up numbers and Charlie doesn’t either. Gen3 is a big opportunity for Team 18, it’s massive, but at the same time we have tried our backsides even this year to try to finish the year off strong with what we have got. 

I’m motivated, fit, hungry and I have won before so I know what it takes and I feel like Team 18 is on that path to success and I don’t want to miss out on that. I have put a lot of effort in to get there and I think the future looks really strong.

“When you join a team, you think you can get it turned around really quickly but reality is it doesn’t because you take two steps forward, one step back; that’s just motorsport. I feel like we are really hitting our stride, like we’re having good weekends and average weekends – we have just got to get rid of the average ones. But we have got good ones and we just have got to make that every weekend. 

“We started this with Charlie, I started it to get this team to the front and he is an incredible guy to work for: a lot of passion, he’s hungry, he’s motivated and we have got a great team behind us so next year looks really strong. But that doesn’t mean we’re not trying to win Bathurst this year and stuff, we still have a lot to race for, but to know that two years, the team know that I’m here to stay, sponsors, everyone knows we’re onboard. It’s a journey and I’m not getting off it until we get to the front.

“The good thing with Charlie, we shook hands and that was quite early and then you just put pen to paper, it’s the formality of it. I’m so invested in this team, it’s not an option to even look anywhere else. You do have options at times but Charlie is very open with me, I’m very open with him and it’s a pretty easy decision. It’s just the formality to put pen to paper that sometimes takes time to do but we’re on the same page. As I said, he’s a great guy to race for and it’s all about getting results: that’s why we race.

Charlie Schwerkolt, Team Owner – Team 18

“It’s really exciting to get Mark “Frosty” Winterbottom signed up, extending his contract again. 

“He’s been an integral part of Team 18 from those early days of when we really put together Team 18 really well. He’s the real deal. The sponsors absolutely love him, the fans love him, he’s got more fans than anyone at the moment I think, but as a driver he has still got it. 

“It’s exciting. He just came off P5 at Sandown and here we are at New Zealand and I think he’ll go well.

“It was an easy decision to get it done. Timing, it was just, I’m a pretty busy guy, but getting it done, it was quite easy. He’s an easy guy to work with and we’re both on the same page so it was quick and easy and we move on and look forward to obviously going into Gen3.

“I think Gen3 is a really big opportunity. Racing the Chevy Camaro will be a big thing for Team 18. 

“He’s got the skill, it’s going to be raw for the driver – his attitude, the whole thing, I think it will be work really, really well for Frosty. I really think he’ll shine there for sure with the experience he has. He’s driven stock cars in Brazil and all that sort of stuff with less downforce and I think this is going to be his forte.

“I think Team 18 has really got a great chance to prove itself with this new generation car, really getting up there, so it’s exciting times ahead. Bring it on!”