Victorian Supercars squad Team 18 have locked in their engineering lineup for the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship as the team campaigns their own in-house prepared cars for the first time in the team’s history.
The squad headed up by Team Owner and Principal Charlie Schwerkolt, Team Manager Bruin Beasley and Crew Chief Dennis Huijser will move into 2023 with a strong engineering lineup and number of fresh staff members within the team.
Team 18’s race engineering department remains stable, with Championship and Bathurst-winning engineer Richard Hollway to continue as Scott Pye’s race engineer for the second consecutive season, while the experienced Manuel Sanchez will continue with Mark Winterbottom for a fourth straight campaign.
Mark Sylvester continues with the team as Data and Performance Engineer and will work on Pye’s car at race events. The team has also welcomed the addition of Julia McGarry as Data and Systems Engineer and will work alongside Sanchez on Winterbottom’s entry.
Experienced Formula 1, Sports car and Supercars engineer Tony Dowe continues with the team as Purchasing Manager and has been handling the arrival of all components to prepare the team’s two new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Supercars.
The 2023 season marks a new journey for Team 18, as the team takes on the first Supercar builds in-house in the team’s history.
Team 18’s two Chevrolet Camaro ZL1s will carry their own designation as ‘T18-001’ and ‘T18-002’. The cars comprise a chassis supplied by Triple Eight Race Engineering, with the remainder of the cars assembled at the team’s Mount Waverley race centre.
The team’s chassis were randomly allocated to drivers Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom during a team gathering, with Pye to take the reins of T18-001, and Winterbottom to drive T18-002 for DEWALT Racing.
Team 18 owner Charlie Schwerkolt feels the team is in a good position heading into the pre-season testing period ahead of the Newcastle season opener.
“We’ve hit the ground running in 2023 with a couple of new faces around the workshop who’ve brought a fresh energy into the team, Bruin [Beasley] and Dennis [Huijser] have assembled an amazing crew of people for the season ahead.
“Our engineering department contains a wealth of experience and talent which we feel will put us in the best spot to tackle the challenges brought on by the new technical regulations this year.
“We know the amount of work that’s been done to get our Camaros assembled has been huge so far, but I feel we’re in a really good position heading into the start of the new season.
“It’s a monumental occasion for the team to build our cars in house for the first time, and we’re proud to announce that our two cars will carry their own designation, with T18-001 to be driven by Scott [Pye] and T18-002 by Mark [Winterbottom].
“This has been a team effort all the way through, with everyone pitching in to bring both cars to life. It made perfect sense for us to find out who would drive each car and that was by pulling it out of a hat in front of the whole team.
“Even now the cars have been allocated to a driver it won’t change how we prepare them right up to the point of hitting the track for testing and Round 1.
“Dennis and Bruin have been overseeing every aspect of the build alongside our engineering group and mechanics on the ground and everything’s coming together incredibly well.
“With two great drivers in our stable, we’re looking forward to hitting the track and giving it everything we’ve got to start the year on a high.”
Team 18 will continue its preparations for the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship, with plans to hit the track at Winton Motor Raceway for testing on February 14 and 15.
The 2023 Supercars season kicks off on the streets of Newcastle for the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on March 10-12.