Team 18 completed a successful first hit-out for their Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Supercars at Winton Motor Raceway today.
Today’s shakedown was the first time the team rolled out cars that have been prepared in-house by the Mount Waverley squad, with drivers Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom completing 90 laps each throughout the day.
Scott Pye said he couldn’t wipe the smile off his face after his first time driving T18-001 and paid tribute to the crew for their efforts to prepare his Hino Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 before today’s shakedown.
Winterbottom said he was pleased with the day as he came to grips of his new DEWALT Racing Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and described the Gen3 cars as having to be driven harder to go faster.
Team 18 will head to Sydney Motorsport Park on Wednesday February 22 for the official Supercars pre-season test, before the team has another test day scheduled for Wednesday 1 March at Winton Motor Raceway before the first round of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on 10-12 March.
Scott Pye, driver #20 Hino Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
“I’m struggling to wipe the smile off my face. It feels like a long time coming but I’m sure for everyone, obviously there hasn’t been enough time in the day to get everything done, but everyone has done such a fantastic job to get here today.
“For us to roll out for the first time ever out of Team 18 and have a day with no mechanicals is unbelievable, really happy for everyone.
“I’m excited to head to Sydney Motorsport Park and see what everyone else has, but all in all I’m really happy with the day.
“When you go and see others testing you get itchy feet for sure, but today was proof of why we waited. We spent time and made sure everything was right on both cars and had no dramas all day is why we did it.
“Yesterday we wanted to go but there was something that Supercars introduced which caused a bit of a problem and it meant that we couldn’t get out there but postponing it to today was the perfect solution because it’s been a fantastic day all round.
“I definitely don’t feel like we’re behind, we’re in a good spot and everyone is on a level playing field we’ve all got the same equipment now.
“We’ve still got a test day up our sleeve after Sydney Motorsport Park but we’ll head up there next week and see what we’ve got.”
Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 DEWALT Racing Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
“We had a really good day, the first time Team 18 has built cars in house and we rolled straight out with no dramas.
“I did around 90 laps and never once were we in the garage repairing it. The team has done a great job and now we load up and do some serious testing.
“We’ll get an idea at Sydney Motorsport Park, and then we’ll test again at Winton before Newcastle, but these cars at Newcastle are going to be hard to drive. It’s risk vs reward, they need to be driven hard to go fast.
“Today was good to roll through and get comfortable, but in terms of testing it’s hard to tell as we’re the only cars here, but the way the car felt I think is not a bad sign.
“Shakedowns have become test days, it’s unbelievable how these days used to be 60 kilometres, 20 laps but today we did over 90, so we pushed the new rules and it was a rewarding day.”