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Winterbottom signs two-year extension with Team 18

Simon Chapman

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Friday 16th October, 2020 - 6:00am

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Mark Winterbottom (left) and Charlie Schwerkolt

Mark Winterbottom is set to continue in the Supercars Championship with Team 18 until at least 2022 with the signing of a two-year contract extension.

Winterbottom, who won the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 in 2013 and took out the Supercars Championship in 2015, will stay with the team through to the advent of Gen3.

This year marks Winterbottom’s second season with Team 18, which expanded to a two-car operation with Scott Pye for 2020.

The 39-year-old, now in his 17th campaign of the Supercars Championship, will continue to race the #18 entry.

Winterbottom has previously indicated he would like to see out his career with Team 18 and said he had no doubt he would re-sign with the Mount Waverley outfit.

“It’s great to confirm that I have re-signed with Charlie and Team 18 for the next two years,” said Winterbottom.

“There was never a doubt that I was going to stay. It’s a really close knit team, and the bonds we have created during these COVID times, being on the road together, has brought everyone really close. You can sense that we are on the edge of creating something very special.

“Charlie and I definitely share the same vision for the direction of where we need to go. He has developed a really strong culture in the team and he is always open to new ideas from myself and all of our staff.

“The improvements that we have made in a short space of time is very encouraging. Charlie has shown his commitment to the sport by increasing to two cars this year, and you can see how much that has helped.”

A two-year extension with the team will see Winterbottom stay with the team through to the introduction of Gen3, which will see the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro go head-to-head.

The championship veteran said he’s excited to be part of the new look.

“It’s great that I’m secure in the team as we head into the new Gen3 regulations too,” said Winterbottom.

“That will become a huge focus for us and I’m keen to ensure that Team 18 launches into that era at the front of the field.

“Anytime Supercars bring in new regulations, we see a big mix up in results. That is a great challenge, so I can’t wait to see what the cars are like and take advantage of it.”

Team owner Charlie Schwerkolt echoed Winterbottom’s sentiment.

“With Gen3 coming on in 2022, his input will be invaluable and having continuity within the team and our drivers will be critical in the changing phase of the sport,” said Schwerkolt.

“It’s a long journey to become a genuine contender in this championship, you need the best people around you and having Frosty with the same vision as me is so important.”

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