Team 18 completed two practice sessions on the first day of action at the Penrite Sandown SuperSprint, with main game drivers Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom joined on track by their Bathurst co-drivers Tyler Everingham and Michael Caruso.
Both Team 18 cars rolled out with competitive pace in Practice 1, as Winterbottom was fourth fastest for IRWIN Racing, with Pye 12th fastest in the Nulon Racing Supercar.
The team worked through a program throwing various setup changes at the car to fine tune the setup to the track conditions, while weather may play a factor on Saturday.
Practice 2 was an additional drivers session, where the team used the session to give their Bathurst co-drivers more seat time ahead of the upcoming Bathurst 1000.
Caruso was 12th fastest in his session as he had his first drive of the #18 IRWIN Racing Supercar since the team’s pre-season test in February.
After being fastest in practice for the Dunlop Super2 Series today, Everingham had a progressive session in Practice 2 as he came to grips with the #20 Nulon Racing Supercar for the first time.
Team 18 returns to the track tomorrow for Practice 3 at 10:20am, before Qualifying from 12:50pm and Race 24 of the championship at 4:45pm.
All the action can be viewed live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports, with post-race highlights on Channel 7.
RESULTS & QUOTES
Mark Winterbottom, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore
Practice 1: 4th (1:08.0639)
“Today was a good day, we ended up fourth in our session.
“It was dry and the car felt pretty good, so we’ll we wait and see what the weather does.
“It’s expected to rain tomorrow but in the dry we’ve got a quick car so fingers crossed mother nature is kind to us, if not we’ll turn the wipers on and have a crack with wets but if it’s dry I think we’re in a good position.”
Scott Pye, #20 Nulon Racing Holden ZB Commodore
Practice 1: 12th (1:08.3658)
“Really good day, car speed is mega. We had some dramas with straight-line speed so we’re looking at that overnight, but it’s good to get that work done ahead of the weekend.
“Car speed was great through the tight stuff but in the straight line we struggled, so we’ll get the car tuned up for tomorrow.
“I’m feeling really confident, both cars were well inside the top ten, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow and seeing what the rest of the weekend has in store.”
Michael Caruso, Co-Driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore
Practice 2: 12th (1:08.8248)
“It was good to be back in the IRWIN Commodore and join Team 18 here at Sandown for the co-driver session.
“I got to enjoy watching Mark in the first session, the car looks speedy and I got to have a taste of it which was great.
“We got about 30 minutes and I punched as many laps as I could ahead of the big one coming up in six weeks at Bathurst.
“I’ll be here for the rest of the weekend to support the team and hopefully they can have a good weekend.”
Tyler Everingham, Co-Driver #20 Nulon Racing Holden ZB Commodore
Practice 2: 25th (1:09.4164)
“A pretty cool experience today, first time I’ve driven the car so it was a bit of a baptism of fire out there, lots to learn and build on but a good start.
“The main thing was getting comfortable and learning the car and team and we can build on that heading into Bathurst.
“I’m also racing Dunlop Super2 here and it’s been good to have a bit of support from the Team 18 guys and learn from Scott over the weekend.”