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Tuesday, May 28, 2024


CHARLIE Schwerkolt has revealed Team 18’s move to take control of its power steering systems that had plagued Scott Pye’s Supercar.

Pye and power steering had gone hand-in-hand – even if there was not necessarily always a common cause – for a large chunk of time encompassing the back end of the 2021 season and the front half of this year.

Re-energised by mid-season signings Bruin Beasley (team manager) and Dennis Huijser (crew chief), the Triple Eight customer outfit decided enough is enough.

“We have taken all power steering in-house and got all of that sorted,” Schwerkolt told V8 Sleuth, adding the change had taken effect prior to last month’s Tailem Bend round.

“It’s been two or three clean weekends now without any of those dramas.

MORE: Team 18 Supercars find new home for 2023

“We’ve got test rigs, we’ve made all of this, we do our own power steering racks; you take control of your problems and we have done that. That’s really important.”

After a disappointing start to the season, Team 18 has gradually got back on track.

Pye’s #20 ZB Commodore. Pic: Mark Horsburgh

At the recent Sandown SuperSprint, Pye took a fifth and two sevenths while teammate Mark Winterbottom was eighth, 12th and fifth in the three races.

“Except for Frosty’s damage when (Brodie) Kostecki hit him which blew the back out and all that sort of stuff, we were top 10 in every session,” said Schwerkolt.

“Look, it’s a rebuilding process in the team and getting it where we need to go with Bruin’s leadership.

“It’s really exciting and I think there is more to come. It’s baby steps: just keep stepping and stepping and stepping, and getting some consistency, the normal things you do, not getting ahead of ourselves… it feels good.

“Both drivers are happy. They were complaining the cars were buckets of bolts three or four months ago and now the same cars, everything has been cleaned up and the one-percenters everywhere are really starting to get somewhere.”

Next up is the ITM Auckland SuperSprint at Pukekohe Park Raceway across September 9-11.

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