Team 18 capped off the Merlin Darwin Triple Crown with two top ten finishes for IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom in Races 17 and 18, while Nulon Racing’s Scott Pye was taken out of contention on the first lap of Sunday’s Supercars action.

Winterbottom qualified 10th and 11th for the two 38-lap races, while Pye qualified 13th and seventh.

Winterbottom made a stellar start to Race 17, gaining three positions in the opening corners of Lap 1. Pye also moved forwards before he was taken out in spectacular fashion at the Turn 6 hairpin when James Courtney came spinning out of control through the infield and t-boned the rear of the Nulon Commodore on the exit of Turn 6.

The hit caused substantial damage to the front and rear of Pye’s car and took it out of action for the remainder of the day.

The race was red-flagged before Winterbottom continued on for a seventh-place finish.

Winterbottom moved forwards from 11th to ninth in Race 18 and hung on after a late-race safety car to score his fifth consecutive top-ten finish.

After six rounds of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship Winterbottom sits 11th in the Drivers’ Championship and Pye in 18th, with Team 18 eighth in the Team’s Championship.

Round 7 of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship will be held at the NTI Townsville 500 on 8-10 July, live on Channel 7, Fox Sports and Kayo. 


Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Qualifying, Race 17: 10th (1:05.6221)
Qualifying, Race 18: 11th (1:05.5436)
Race 17: 7th (fastest lap: 1:07.8543)
Race 18: 9th (fastest lap: 1:07.9009)

“Three top ten results is not too bad of a weekend, fifth seventh and ninth. The car had pace, and we moved back up in the points with a trouble-free run.

“It was so hard to pass, the heat really stops the cars from producing the ability to make passes.

“We got caught out in the strategy just a bit at the end too, I got stuck behind Brown.

“We have come a long way, the harmony and the workmanship in the team has been amazing and we’re keeping them busy as drivers.

“They did an amazing job and I think we have got good things to come.”

Scott Pye, driver #20 Nulon Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Qualifying, Race 17: 13th (1:05.7241)
Qualifying, Race 18: 7th (1:05.4436)
Race 17: DNF
Race 18: DNS

“We had two qualifying sessions, the first one we had a mishap in the pit lane and got out a bit late and qualified 13th before we got taken out on the first lap.

“We qualified seventh for the next race but couldn’t make it out in time. The crew did a massive job, they worked their backsides off and did everything they possibly could but unfortunately we couldn’t get out for the race.”