Team 18 is revving up for the Supercars Championship’s premier event, the Repco Bathurst 1000, set to take place at the iconic Mount Panorama circuit from 5-8 October. Known as ‘The Great Race,’ this event is a true spectacle on the Australian motorsport calendar, drawing over 200,000 fans annually to the picturesque New South Wales town of Bathurst for 60 years.
Team 18 is heading to Bathurst with an unparalleled level of experience, boasting a combined total of 73 Bathurst 1000 starts across their four drivers.
Leading the charge in the #18 DEWALT Racing Camaro is Mark Winterbottom, who will make his 21st Great Race start. The 2013 champion will be joining forces with Michael Caruso who is set for his impressive 18th start. Having been rivals in junior karting and later Supercars competition, Winterbottom and Caruso are thrilled to join forces once more. They come to Bathurst well-prepared, following a solid outing at the Sandown 500 where the pair finished 11th, having raced as high as third.
In another formidable pairing, Scott Pye is set to make his 12th Bathurst appearance this year in the Toyota Forklifts Camaro. He will reunite with his dual runner-up finishing co-driver Warren Luff, who has notched up an impressive 22 starts in the Supercars era. The excitement is building as Pye and Luff look forward to tackling the formidable Mount Panorama together, particularly as this year marks the first time the Gen3 cars will compete in a 1000km endurance race.
The action-packed race format includes six one-hour practice sessions, leading up to the grid-determining 40-minute qualifying session and the highly-anticipated Top 10 Shootout. Additionally, for the first time ever, the Dunlop Soft Tyre compound will be used in the 161-lap enduro.
Race week kicks off with the annual drivers and transporter parade, along with autograph sessions in the Bathurst town centre on Wednesday. Trackside preparations and briefings follow in the afternoon.
Cars will hit the track for the first time on Thursday with Practice 1 at 1:20pm, followed by Practice 2 for co-drivers at 4:50pm. Friday is Qualifying Day, starting with Practice 3 at 10:00am and Practice 4 at 1:05pm, leading up to the pivotal Qualifying session at 4:15pm. Saturday begins with two practice sessions at 10:00am and 1:00pm, with the first dedicated to co-drivers. The day culminates in the highly anticipated Top 10 Shootout at 5:05pm.
Race Day, packed with tradition and excitement, starts with the warm-up at 8:00am, followed by the Drivers Parade at 9:00am. The pinnacle of the event, the Bathurst 1000, roars to life at 11:15am, featuring 161 laps of intense racing to determine the worthy winners of the prestigious Peter Brock Trophy.
With their formidable lineup and years of experience, Team 18 is ready to conquer Mount Panorama and make their mark on ‘The Great Race.’ Fans can stay tuned to the action live on Channel 7, Fox Sports and Kayo. Check your local guides for further details.
Scott Pye, driver #20 Toyota Forklifts Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
“Bathurst 1000 is one of my favourite events. The Adelaide 500 is up there, but Bathurst is the one that every driver wants to win.
“I’ve finished runner-up there a couple of times, which is bittersweet, but I’m looking forward to getting up there and hopefully getting the win.
“Personally I’m feeling really good heading into Bathurst this time of year, particularly our match fitness is as good as it’s ever going to be, so looking forward to getting up there and hopefully having a fast car.
“I think Bathurst is particularly special because of the history. You know, even as a young kid growing up, dreaming of racing in this race once and watching it with your family. It’s something that you can only imagine getting to do. I think this is my 11th Bathurst 1000, I believe, so to have done it so many times is very surreal. It’s special in that it’s one of the best racetracks in the world. We’re very lucky to have it in our backyard and we get to race here once a year. So for me, there’s the dream of growing up racing here, the dream of standing on the podium, and then just the history of the event and the racetrack itself.
“The biggest challenge every time at Bathurst is within your own four walls. It’s making sure you make no mistakes in the pits, you get lucky with a bit of strategy, and you’ve got to have a fast car to get the win at the end of the day. Bathurst in the past hasn’t had massive tyre wear, so I think we’re going to have longer stints than we’ve seen in the past, which could make for a bigger back end of the race for the main driver.
“Every time we’ve gone to a track this year with the new car, it’s been a learning curve for everyone. So hopefully we can get up there as best prepared as possible and do the best job.”
Warren Luff, driver #20 Toyota Forklifts Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
“Looking forward to teaming up with Scott again after having finished second with him in 2017 & 2018. Sandown was a big learning curve for us and all the teams as we embark on our first enduro campaign with the Gen 3 Camaro, hopefully we can apply those lessons from Sandown and go to Bathurst with a strong package and finish up on the podium again come Sunday afternoon.”
Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 DEWALT Racing Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
“I’m really excited for Bathurst. It’s the marquee event and one I look forward to the most. It should be massive, the weather looks good, the crowd looks like ticket sales have gone through the roof, so really looking forward to a big event and hopefully a good one for us.
“Our preparation has been good. We’re physically ready and mentally ready. I think every year you go to Bathurst, you learn something. I don’t think there’s too much I haven’t seen over the 20 years of Bathurst that I’ve raced there.
“Caruso did an amazing job at Sandown, so I know I’ve got a great ally in the car with me and a great team behind us.
“Bathurst is special because it’s the story that gets written. I think every year when you race at Bathurst, it’s got drama, it’s got a hero, it’s got a villain, it’s got everything and at the end of the day there’s one car that wins, and to win it you’ve got to do everything perfect, but the storyline that rolls out for that car and that team to win is huge, and everyone watches it, it’s one of those races that you flick across, whether you love motorsport or not, throughout the day, you flick across and catch the Bathurst 1000, and all eyes are on it.
“It’s going to be interesting, new car, new tyres, the fuel tank can go a lot further, so strategy is now a little bit different to previous years, so the tank can go further but the tyres don’t last as long, so there’s strategy, car reliability, it’s a brand new car that we haven’t done a thousand kilometre race on yet. Previously we just go flat out from the start, there might be a little bit of conservation to make sure they get through, and then Bathurst on its own is ridiculous at what scenarios it can throw at you, so expect the unexpected.”
Michael Caruso, co-driver #18 DEWALT Racing Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
“Nice to be back in Bathurst. 60 years of such a historic and monumentous event for motorsport, not only in Australia, but there’ll be people watching on globally, so it’s great to be a part of again. Lots of good signs coming out of Sandown and the type of speed that we showed, and I think there’s a platform there to hopefully put together a good weekend here at the biggest race of the year, the Bathurst 1000.”