Team 18 drivers draw Gen3 chassis out of a hat
Tuesday 31st January, 2023 - 4:00pm
Team 18 has revealed how it randomly allocated the chassis which Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom will race at the start of the Gen3 Supercars era.
A new video released by the squad shows that Winterbottom won a coin toss which gave him the right to pull a table tennis ball out of a hat, held by Team Manager Bruin Beasley, in order to determine which chassis goes to which driver.
The 2013 Bathurst 1000 winner drew a ball labelled ‘B’, and hence will drive the Chevrolet Camaro being the chassis designation ‘T18-002’, meaning Pye will get behind the wheel of ‘T18-001’.
See below for video
Engines have also been allocated randomly up and down the Repco Supercars Championship field, as previously reported.
The chassis designations themselves are a first for Team 18, which has had a customer relationship with Triple Eight Race Engineering since team owner Charlie Schwerkolt branched out on his own from the 2016 season, after stints with his then sole Racing Entitlements Contract (now Teams Racing Charter) run as a Tickford Racing and subsequently Walkinshaw Racing entry.
While the chassis have again been supplied by Triple Eight, the rest of the assembly has been performed at Team 18’s Mount Waverley workshop, for the first time.
After Beasley and Dennis Huijser joined the squad last year, the latter as Crew Chief, the driver and engineering line-up has largely remained stable into 2023.
Pye will continue to have Bathurst 1000-winning race engineer Richard Hollway on his car and Manuel Sanchez remains on Winterbottom’s for a fourth straight season.
Mark Sylvester is still Data and Performance Engineer, working on Pye’s car at race events; Julia McGarry has joined as Data and Systems Engineer, as well as working on Winterbottom’s entry; and former Supercars engineer Tony Dowe remains as Purchasing Manager.
Schwerkolt said, “Our engineering department contains a wealth of experience and talent which we feel will put us in the best spot to tackle the challenges brought on by the new technical regulations this year.
“We know the amount of work that’s been done to get our Camaros assembled has been huge so far, but I feel we’re in a really good position heading into the start of the new season.
“It’s a monumental occasion for the team to build our cars in house for the first time, and we’re proud to announce that our two cars will carry their own designation, with T18-001 to be driven by Scott and T18-002 by Mark.
“This has been a team effort all the way through, with everyone pitching in to bring both cars to life. It made perfect sense for us to find out who would drive each car and that was by pulling it out of a hat in front of the whole team.
“Even now the cars have been allocated to a driver it won’t change how we prepare them right up to the point of hitting the track for testing and Round 1.
“Dennis and Bruin have been overseeing every aspect of the build alongside our engineering group and mechanics on the ground and everything’s coming together incredibly well.”
Team 18’s confirmation of its engineering line-up follows that of fellow Chevrolet outfit Brad Jones Racing.
Julian Stannard returns to Race Engineering on Jack Smith’s #4 entry after two years as Performance Engineer at the Albury squad, while Andrew ‘Donners’ Donnelly has been promoted from a Data Engineer role to Race Engineer on Macauley Jones’ #96 Camaro.
Andre Heimgartner’s #8 R&J Batteries machine continues to be engineered by Tony Woodward and Bryce Fullwood’s #14 entry by Phil Keed.
Team owner Brad Jones said, “First of all, I’m thrilled to see Julian back in a race engineering capacity and look forward to seeing him at work on Gen3.
“Donners has also been a real asset to the team over the last few years and it’s an ideal time to be able to give him this opportunity.
“We have a mostly unchanged engineering crew, everyone is a known quantity within the team and we’re happy with where we are at, everyone gets on and there’s a good sense of comradery between the crew here.”
BJR has tentatively nominated February 7 or February 8 as its first day of Gen3 running at Winton, while Team 18 will head to the Victorian circuit with its Camaros for the first time on February 14 and 15.
CLICK HERE for more on southern-based teams’ Gen3 testing plans
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