Team 18 found gains in their performance during the first of three races at the OTR The Bend SuperSprint. 

Nulon Racing’s Scott Pye moved forwards three positions to 12th in Race 21, while IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom recovered for a 16th place finish after a tricky first race at The Bend.

After two smooth practice sessions in which he sat seventh fastest in Practice 2, Winterbottom progressed through to the second part of qualifying to start 12th for Race 21, as did Pye who started 15th.

A rough start to the race saw Winterbottom lose a couple of positions on the opening lap, as he and Pye sat nose-to-tail when the pit window opened.

Pye made an early stop on Lap 7, picking up two positions with the undercut and displayed strong pace to come home in 12th position at the chequered flag.

A jammed wheel nut on Winterbottom’s car proved costly in the pit lane, but the crew’s quick thinking avoided further time lost on track as Winterbottom recovered to finish 16th.

Team 18 return to the The Bend Motorsport Park on Sunday for two 24 lap races at the OTR The Bend SuperSprint, with Race 22 at 12:30pm and Race 23 at 3:40pm ACST respectively, live on Fox Sports and Kayo.

RESULTS & QUOTES

Scott Pye, #20 Nulon Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Practice 1: 16th (1:49.6439)
Practice 2: 14th (1:48.9102)
Qualifying: 15th (1:48.7199)
Race 21: 12th (fastest lap: 1:50.6872)

“We didn’t quite get it right in qualifying, I made a little mistake on a lap that should have put me in the top ten, but we moved forwards in the race from 15th to 12th.

“I made a good start, it’s just a tricky place to overtake, but car speed was really good.

“We pitted early and undercut a few with good car speed and then we were just nose-to-tail behind a few in front of us.

“A top ten tomorrow is certainly achievable, but the weather is looking interesting so it could rain. I hope it does I think it will mix things up a bit.”

“All in all a pretty solid day, the car is straight and we move on to tomorrow.”

Mark Winterbottom, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Practice 1: 17th (1:49.6558)
Practice 2: 7th (1:48.6390)
Qualifying: 12th (1:48.6769)
Race 21: 16th (fastest lap: 1:51.0244)

“We had an average run, a bad start, our pace wasn’t too bad but then we had a jammed wheel nut in the pit stop.

“A top ten finish could have been achievable if we had a good run, so a few little things we have to tidy up and ultimately car pace is what we’ve got to chase.

“Two more cracks at it tomorrow and we’ll give it our best.”