Day 1 at the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown is in the books for Nulon Racing’s Scott Pye and IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom, with the Team 18 drivers in the hunt during Practice 1 and 2 today.

Winterbottom and Nulon Racing’s Scott Pye sat in the top six for the majority of the first session before finishing up eighth and 12th respectively as they each worked through their practice programme.

Winterbottom improved to fifth fastest in the second session while Pye dropped back to 22nd in the times as they worked to optimise their setup ahead of Qualifying and Race 16 tomorrow.

Winterbottom was pleased with the setup in the IRWIN Racing car during practice, while Pye had a trickier time in practice in the Nulon Racing Holden and will be working to find some gains overnight before Saturday’s track activity.

Team 18 returns to the track for three-part Qualifying including a Top 10 Shootout at 11:45am on Saturday, before lights go out for Race 16 at 3:25pm ACS live on Channel 7, Fox Sports and Kayo.


Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Practice 1: 8th (1:06.2720)
Practice 2: 5th (1:05.5958)

“The car is pretty good. I had a really good run in Practice 1 where I felt we were top three pace, it was really strong.

“We ended up fifth in Practice 2, so I think that was where we were to be fair, but we are in the mix.

“I’m happy, I think we are in a good spot and we’ll have a big crack tomorrow.

Scott Pye, driver #20 Nulon Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Practice 1: 12th (1:06.3222)
Practice 2: 22nd (1:06.0575)

“It wasn’t an amazing day, we had a tricky last practice session just trying to get a clean lap.

“We’re going to have to make some changes going into qualifying to try and find some car speed, but hopefully we have a really good day tomorrow.”