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HomeNewsTeam 18 takes Gen3 Camaro builds in-house

Team 18 takes Gen3 Camaro builds in-house

TEAM 18 has decided against purchasing turnkey Chevrolet Camaros from Triple Eight for season 2023, instead opting to look after the assembly of its own Gen3 cars.

The Charlie Schwerkolt-owned squad will still run Triple Eight-built chassis but will take responsibility for piecing the panels and other parts together.

It’s a similar story for fellow Triple Eight customer Matt Stone Racing, which will do its own assembly having ordered three chassis from PACE Innovations.

Team 18’s move leaves PremiAir Racing as the only customer team which will run turnkey Triple Eight Camaros in 2023.

“It was a bit of a group decision we made. The reality is that the timelines are getting shorter,” Team 18 manager Bruin Beasley told V8 Sleuth.

“We don’t have the staff to send to Triple Eight to help assemble the cars which is what was probably looking like what it needed to do, so for us to drag two or three or four or five guys out of the workshop at this time of the year or later in the year just wasn’t feasible for us.

“But also, we need to be in control of our own destiny.

“Roland didn’t go and buy cars off HRT when he started running, did he?

“We believe we need to be in control of our own destiny and assemble the cars. Then we know what we have got, we know what the parts are and we know how it’s assembled.”

Team 18 has found success with applying that philosophy to its power steering system, which had proved problematic before taking it in-house mid-season.

Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye. Pic: Team 18

“Everything I have ever done in the past and Dennis (Huijser, crew chief) and us as a working group, everything we’ve done we’ve gone down our own path for that reason: we understand what we have actually got,” Beasley continued.

“Not taking anything away, we could have bought a customer car off Triple Eight or Groves or Walkinshaw or Erebus or whoever else but we’re in the same situation.

“If you really want to 100 percent know the equipment, you need to do it yourself.”

It was a solid Gold Coast 500 for the Mount Waverley outfit, Mark Winterbottom leading the way with ninth- and sixth-place finishes.

It could easily have been a double top 10 in both races, Scott Pye finishing 17th on Saturday only after a fuel drop miscalculation forced an extra pitstop and cost him seven places.

The following day, Pye was running eighth before copping a late penalty for a Safety Car restart infringement and then being spun by Will Brown.

Beasley admitted it was a case of missed opportunities and proof that there’s still more to be tidied up before the great white hope that is the Gen3 era arrives.

“I think we have proven since May/June when we (Beasley and Huijser) got onboard, things have turned around and we have got some good car speed,” he said.

“Scott has been in nearly every Shootout since that period of time and the mechanical issues have been far less if any at all.

“What has been letting us down are things that we need to work harder on and we know what they are, so we just need to make sure when we go into next year with the new-generation car we fix some of those areas.”

Winterbottom and Pye will continue for a fourth season as teammates next year.

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