Team 18 will have a race against time to prepare for the Winton SuperSprint after a challenging final day of the Bunnings Trade Perth SuperNight at Wanneroo Raceway.
Nulon Racing’s Scott Pye was involved in a large crash in the first race while IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom registered results of 16th and 20th in Races 11 and 12.
Pye started 20th for Race 11 and got off to a clean start. As the field came around to start Lap 2, trouble struck as contact between Pye and Le Brocq sent Pye hard into the concrete wall blocking the pit lane.
Pye defended his position on the exit of the final corner while Le Brocq had a slight overlap, resulting in a tangle with Pye being turned hard into the fence. The incident was deemed to have no further action taken by the stewards.
The Nulon Racing Commodore sustained serious damage to the left-rear corner of the chassis.
Upon return toMelbourne, the car will be sent on a chassis jig with the assistance of Walkinshaw Andretti United, while the crew will assess whether it can attend a scheduled test day at Winton the following Tuesday, May 10.
Winterbottom started rear of the grid in Race 11 after receiving a three-place grid penalty for impeding other cars on track. He showed good speed in the first race to charge up nine positions from the rear of the grid to 16th.
Winterbottom started 15th in the final race, however was caught up in a pile-up on the first lap exiting Turn 5 which saw him make rear-end contact with Thomas Randle which turned him around. Winterbottom served a 15-second penalty during his compulsory pit stop for his part in the incident and finished back in 20th position.
In the Drivers’ Championship, Winterbottom sits 12th on 553 points, while Pye is 18th on 411 points. Meanwhile, Team 18 dropped one spot to eighth in the Teams’ Championship.
Team 18 will now get set for the fourth round of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship at Winton Motor Raceway on 20-22 May.
QUOTES & RESULTS
Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore
Qualifying (Race 11): 22nd (fastest lap: 54.2541), +3 place penalty
Qualifying (Race 12): 15th (fastest lap: 53.8365)
Race 11: 16th (fastest lap: 56.0223)
Race 12: 20th (fastest lap: 55.5772)
“A very tough weekend, but in saying that it’s a circuit I love and the support has been amazing over here.
“We under-delivered, I think our race pace was reasonable but our qualifying pace was not there, so when you’re a bit off the pace in qualifying you’re at the back of the pack and there’s a lot of work to do from there.
We’ll work harder, we can’t make excuses and we’ll go again. The good part about our sport is there’s another opportunity and it’s coming pretty quick at Winton.”
Scott Pye, driver #20 Nulon Racing Holden ZB Commodore
Qualifying (Race 11): 20th (fastest lap: 54.1585)
Qualifying (Race 12): 19th (fastest lap: 53.9455)
Race 11: DNF
Race 12: DNS
“It’s been a disaster here in Perth, we crashed in the first race and couldn’t make the second race.
“It was a fairly big hit. The boys will have their work come out for them, I feel terrible for them as it’s a massive repair job for the next event,. I feel for the crew, Charlie and all our partners. It’s not what we want, we’ll rebuild and come back stronger.”
“It was going to be a tough day, we didn’t quite have the car speed but nonetheless we have to maximise every opportunity that comes our way, it just wasn’t our day today.”
Charlie Schwerkolt, Team Owner – Team 18
“One of the worst rounds for many years for us at Team 18. Absolutely gut-wrenching,
I think a mistake the other driver Jack Le Brocq made, he could have backed out of it and unfortunately it turned our car in to the wall and it’s damaged the left-rear quite extensively.
“We’ll get back to Melbourne on Wednesday and get it on a jig as soon as we possibly can on Friday morning and we’ll get it back in top shape for Winton.”
“We were looking at getting two drivers to help get it back quicker but it’s probably not necessary now, so we’ll get the truck home on Wednesday and get it on the jig.”
“At this stage we’re planning to test next Tuesday but we’ll see how the damage comes out on Friday and after the weekend. It’s really important for us to test, our speed is lacking in some areas, particularly qualifying, so we’ll push on with our plans and continue to assess it over this week.”