Team 18 finalises Gen3 Supercars engineering line-up

Shirley Beal

Team 18 has confirmed its engineering line-up for the two Chevrolet Camaros it will campaign in the 2023 Supercars Championship.

The Melbourne based team’s pit wall will be fronted by team owner and principal Charlie Schwerkolt, team manager Bruin Beasley and crew chief Dennis Hujiser.

Team 18’s race engineering department remains unchanged with veteran championship and Bathurst winning engineer Richard Hollway to remain as Scott Pye’s race engineer on car #20.

Richard Hollway and Scott Pye will continue their relationship in car #20 for Team 18. Image: EDGE Photographics 

Pye was left wondering what could have been after Adelaide, having come agonisingly close to the team’s first win on the Saturday and will be determined to extract similar pace.

The experienced Manuel Sanchez will continue to call the shots on car #18 driven by the journeyman Mark Winterbottom, who is gearing up for his 20th full-time season and first with a new sponsor.

The pair have been working together in car #18 for three consistent years where a top 10 championship result has been achieved each time.

Manuel Sanchez and Mark Winterbottom in discussion at last year’s Tasmania Supersprint. Image: EDGE Photographics

Despite the core engineering group remaining stable for the new Gen3 season, there is an injection of fresh blood amongst the team.

Julia McGarry has been welcomed as data and systems engineer and will work alongside Sanchez on “Frosty’s” car.

On the car #20 side of the garage, Mark Sylvester will perform the data and systems role and support Holloway at race events.

Schwerkolt said he feels a great vibe around the Mount Waverley base and believes the engineering line-up will push the team forward in its pursuit of chasing a maiden win since its debut in 2013.

Team 18 can be encouraged by the pace Scott Pye showed at the Adelaide 500. Image: Mark Horsburgh/EDGE Photographics

“We’ve hit the ground running in 2023 with a couple of new faces around the workshop who’ve brought a fresh energy into the team,” he said.

“Bruin [Beasley] and Dennis [Huijser] have assembled an amazing crew of people for the season ahead.

“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.

“With two great drivers in our stable, we’re looking forward to hitting the track and giving it everything we’ve got to start the year on a high.”

Experienced Formula 1, sports car and Supercars engineer Tony Dowe remains in the purchasing manager role and has overseen the arrival of Gen3 components for the team’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Supercars.

The new Gen3 era is the birth of a new era for the team, being the first season it will race with in-house built Supercars having been racing with Ford Performance Racing, Walkinshaw and Triple Eight Race Engineering machinery in the past.

Schwerkolt described the build as “monumental” with chassis now allocated to drivers Winterbottom and Pye as preparations continue to ramp up ahead of testing in the coming weeks.

Mark Winterbottom sitting in a Team 18 Gen3 Chevrolet Camaro chassis. Image: Supplied

“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,” he said.

“This has been a team effort all the way through, with everyone pitching in to bring both cars to life.

“It’s a monumental occasion for the team to build our cars in house for the first time, with T18-001 to be driven by Scott [Pye] and T18-002 by Mark [Winterbottom].

“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.”

The new Team 18 Chevrolet Camaros will go racing for the first time at the Newcastle 500 from March 10-12.

For more of the latest motorsport news pick up the latest issue of AUTO ACTION.

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