Team 18 in ‘no rush’ with co-driver search

Scott Pye (left) and Charlie Schwerkolt (right)

Team 18 is not in a hurry to fill its co-driver void ahead of this year’s Repco Bathurst 1000, according to team manager Bruin Beasley.

The Mount Waverley-based squad had its endurance campaign plans up-ended when one of its co-drivers, James Golding, was drafted into a full-time seat at PremiAir Racing mid-season.

While Michael Caruso is still slated to share with Mark Winterbottom, the loss of Golding leaves Team 18 searching for a co-driver to join Scott Pye.

A month down the line and the Charlie Schwerkolt-led operation has narrowed down its shortlist to only a “handful” of candidates.

Earlier in July, Speedcafe.com explored the potential options to join Pye for the October 6-9 event.

It’s understood the likes of Cameron Hill and Luke Youlden are still hot property on the co-driver market, with both available at this stage.

An announcement is expected to come before the Penrite Oil Sandown SuperSprint, which will feature a dedicated co-driver practice session.

“We’ve got an indication of the direction we’re going,” Beasley told Speedcafe.com

“We’re not in a super hurry, the people we’re talking to are in a good place and they understand what we’re trying to achieve.

“Once we, as a group, make a collective decision that we think is the right one, we’ll move forward.”

Beasley outlined that the squad is not looking for just anyone to drive the Nulon Racing ZB Commodore alongside Pye, with an important criteria being worked through.

“It’s got to be, firstly, someone that’s a good fit for the team with the same mindset and same vision of what we are trying to achieve,” he added.

“Then it comes down to the personality, as long as we’re happy and get along with them and they’ve got to also be able to do the job.

“Whether that includes experience and speed, the reality is you have to be pretty fast but you also need to be mindful it’s a long race.”

Having joined Team 18 in May this year, Beasley said the loss of Golding threw a spanner in the works for their Bathurst plans.

However, he is confident the outfit has “very good” people on its shortlist.

“The reality is you have a bit of a vision and when I arrived that was all kind of in place,” he commented.

“It’s definitely a bump in the road but reality is in this industry things happen, you’ve sort of just got to find the positives out of the whole situation and move forward.”

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