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HomeNewsBathurstKey staff depart Team 18 after Bathurst disaster

Key staff depart Team 18 after Bathurst disaster

IT will be a new-look Team 18 at the Gold Coast 500 after a series of personnel changes in the wake of its Repco Bathurst 1000 disaster.

V8 Sleuth understands team manager Bruin Beasley, race engineer Manuel Sanchez and data engineer Julia McGarry have all left the Chevrolet squad.

Sanchez had been Mark Winterbottom’s engineer since the start of 2020, while McGarry joined the Car #18 crew in the off-season.

Matt Saunders will return to the team to guide Winterbottom at the Gold Coast; Saunders has been working with Nash Morris in Super2 and had a race-winning cameo with Matt Stone Racing at Darwin. Veteran Richard ‘Krusty’ Hollway will continue with Scott Pye.

Beasley’s role will be absorbed internally for the time being.

Team 18 had been on course for solid finishes of 11th (Winterbottom/Michael Caruso) and 14th (Pye/Warren Luff) in the Great Race before both cars ran out of fuel in the closing stages.

Pye pitted at the end of Lap 159 and was able to make it home in 17th, while Winterbottom stopped the next time around and could not get out of the lane before pit exit closed, rendering him a non-finisher.

Manuel Sanchez and Julia McGarry. Pic: Supplied

“Bathurst was tough and we made some mistakes during the day and then both cars running out of fuel due to miscalculations in the final stint was disappointing,” Pye told V8 Sleuth.

“For me, Sandown we re-used tyres, I did 62 laps on a rear-left tyre unintentionally, and then to make the same sort of mistakes at Bathurst maybe boiled over and there has been some changes internally for the team going forward.

“For me, it was really disappointing. We had fast cars. I made a mistake in qualifying which I was kicking myself for but I felt like we should have been a top five car and it just didn’t come to fruition.”

The 33-year-old will be a Triple Eight co-driver next year, after losing his #20 seat to David Reynolds.

“There has been some changes at Team 18 for sure now with engineering line-up,” said Pye.

“My engineer Krusty is still my engineer and I actually really enjoy working with him.

“We have got two events left, Gold Coast and Adelaide, where I think we should be very competitive.

“Particularly Adelaide I’m really motivated, we had dramas last year obviously with getting unlucky with the Safety Car, so for myself and Krusty we want to finish on as much of a high as possible and put Bathurst, Sandown and a few other events behind us, get a result for the crew and the engineers.”

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