Team 18 are ready for the first round of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship in Newcastle next week after their final test day at Winton Motor Raceway today.
Following an initial shakedown at Winton two weeks ago and the official pre-season test at Sydney Motorsport Park last week, the team completed their final test with Scott Pye’s #20 Hino Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and Mark Winterbottom’s #18 DEWALT Racing Team 18 Camaro.
The team’s focus on the final test day was on running through a number of performance and strategic programs to prepare for the two 250km races on the streets of Newcastle next week.
Pye was happy with the day, which included his first run on a green tyre as well as a close combat battle with teammate Winterbottom in the afternoon to prepare for the first round of the season.
“All-in-all we had a really good day and we’ve got a good feeling heading into Newcastle,” said Pye.
“We had a couple of gremlins early but we got on top of those pretty quickly and then played with the setup throughout the day.
“Today was the first day I got to throw a green tyre because of the hiccups we had at Sydney Motorsport Park at the official test.
“It is only testing and it’s very hard to tell where you sit relative to everyone else, but we’re feeling confident in the garage and personally I’m pumped going from a street circuit at the end of last year to another one to kick off this year.
“I think racing in a pack is going to be very interesting and extremely challenging. I got up close and had a battle with Frosty on track today and enjoyed the experience of something totally different.
“Today has been a good day, a lot tested and we finished exactly where we want to be heading into Newcastle.”
Winterbottom was pleased with how the DEWALT Racing Camaro reacted to the suite of changes applied throughout the day and is excited for how the Gen3 cars will race when the season kicks off in Newcastle next week.
“We had a good day at Winton, the final test here before we head to Newcastle,” said Winterbottom.
“It’s been good to be in the car so much. We’ve had three outings in the space of two weeks.
“We had a couple little gremlins to start the day but once we got going we ran trouble free and had a really good day.
“We learned a lot, we made some big changes, we didn’t run many laps but a lot of good changes and every change we did the car reacted to.
“I feel quick, we’ve got some items on the toolbox of what we need to do but I’m ready to go for Newcastle.”
Team 18 will head back to their Mount Waverley base to prepare for the first round of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on 10-12 March.