Team 18 drivers Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye placed ninth and 11th respectively in Race 19 of the Repco Supercars Championship at the Beaurepaires Sydney SuperNight at Sydney Motorsport Park.
Winterbottom, in the DEWALT Camaro, started an impressive seventh place and narrowly avoided an incident into Turn 1 off the start as Anton De Pasquale, Will Brown and David Reynolds clashed around him.
Winterbottom made his compulsory pit stop on Lap 17 for four tyres, but was held up for several seconds on exit as Brown’s entered the Erebus garage in front for his stop.
Winterbottom emerged in seventh after the pit stop cycle, but dropped behind Waters and Mostert who were on fresher tyres late in the race to finish ninth.
Pye started 12th in the Hino Camaro and emerged there after taking his stop on Lap 20. Pye showed strong speed to overtake Slade for 11th with three laps to go, and closed in on Le Brocq in tenth before the chequered flag.
After the Sydney Supernight, Team 18 maintained fifth position in the teams championship, with Winterbottom in 10th and Pye 12th in the drivers standings.
The next round of the 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will be held at The OTR SuperSprint at The Bend Motorsport Park on 18-20 August.
RESULTS & QUOTES
Mark Winterbottom, #18 DEWALT Racing Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Qualifying: 7th (1:30.3045)
Race 19: 9th (Fastest Lap: 1:32.6356)
“It’s always nice to come home. It’s been nice to get back to Western Sydney and see all my friends and family and there was a lot of DEWALT gear around the track which I love to see.
“Racing wise, it was a tough one. This track, it’s very long corners and you can get exposed quite quickly.
“I’m proud of our results. We all want to win, but from practice one, to where we started, to where we finished, we went forward as the weekend went on, and I think we maximised what we had.
“The team did a great job with two top tens with ninth in both races, and a bit unlucky in that last one. I think the Erebus car came in and boxed me in and I lost just over three seconds in the stop, which would have put me ahead of Fullwood, Kostecki and a few guys. Could I have finished fifth and held on? I think I could have, but anyway, that’s a story for another day.”
Scott Pye, #20 Hino Team 18 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Qualifying: 12th (1:30.5146)
Race 19: 11th (Fastest Lap: 1:32.4880)
“All in all, not a bad weekend. We rolled out in practice and had some mechanical issues that had us a little bit worried going into qualifying and it meant we spent the whole of practice just trying to fix those issues.
“To come away with a P10 in the two races is a pretty solid result. Good points for the team, I think for us, it was about maximizing what we could this weekend and I think we did that.
“Last night, we were running sixth in the dark, and it was all going very well. We went aggressive with strategy, so that put us up, and it was working in our favour, but unfortunately, a late race safety car is the worst case scenario when you’ve done that, and that’s what we got. It bunched the field back up, everyone behind me had fresher tyres, and we lost a few spots, and that’s why we finished 10th.
“Overall I was very stoked to be to be running up the front again and we look forward to the next event.”