Team 18 is prepared to take on the Bathurst 1000 next week after completing a valuable test at Winton Motor Raceway today in readiness for The Great Race to kick off next week.
The day saw IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom and co-driver Michael Caruso in attendance, as well as the drivers of the recently launched Alspec Racing entry in Scott Pye and Tyler Everingham alongside the full Team 18 Bathurst engineering and pit crew lineup.
The team progressed through a series of simulations for the 1000km two-driver endurance race, including vital pit stop procedures such as driver changes, brake rotor changes, refuelling and various component changes on the IRWIN Racing and Alspec Racing Holdens.
Both full-time drivers and co-drivers were rotated through the cockpit as the day progressed as the team maximised the full day of on-track activity, gaining valuable data and developmental knowledge to take to Mount Panorama.
“The test here at Winton was fantastic, it’s one of the coolest times of the year to be a week out from heading to Bathurst,” said Pye.
“This test day is more about running through our procedures. Driver changes, brake changes and making sure Tyler [Everingham] is as comfortable as possible before heading to the big race.
“It’s certainly been one of my most enjoyable days here at Winton knowing our next time on track is at the mountain.”
After a co-driver session and ride day at Sandown, today was Everingham’s first full test day with the team which proved to be an important step in his preparation before joining Pye for his second Bathurst 1000 start.
“We had a very solid test day here at Winton,” said Everingham.
“It was great to get back into the Alspec Commodore and get some running in, we had a very productive day and I learnt a lot throughout the course of it so I’m feeling very comfortable heading to Bathurst.
“Today was extremely important to learn all the creature comforts of the car and get everything right before heading to Bathurst, it’s the biggest race of the year so just made sure we’re on top of everything.”
All drivers were left feeling comfortable and confident heading into race week after an ‘enjoyable’ test day, with the crew in good spirits before making the trek to Mount Panorama.
“It’s been a good day, coming here to run through all our formalities for Bathurst, that’s been the focus, so not necessarily a Winton test day but we’re testing for Bathurst, so that involved driver changes, brake rotor changes and all our procedures,” explained Winterbottom.
“It’s been a really smooth day, great to team up with Michael [Caruso] again and get him in the car for some laps.
“It’s been a really enjoyable day, everyone is in good spirits, they’ve been busy but going to Bathurst, personnel and mood and attitude makes a big difference.”
Caruso also had a productive day behind the wheel of the IRWIN Racing Holden.
“Great to get back in the car at Winton for our Bathurst preparations,” said Caruso.
“We got plenty of laps, lots of driver changes, all those procedural stuff which really made it an enjoyable day going in the right headspace to the biggest race of the year, knowing that a lot of that simple stuff can sometimes be a hindrance in the weekend or undo the race.
“We’re pretty happy with where we ended up and looking forward to next week.”
The Repco Bathurst 1000 takes place on October 6-9, with six practice sessions across the weekend before The Great Race commences at 11:15am AEDT on Sunday October 9.