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The benefit of Team 18’s off-season overhaul

IT didn’t take long for Team 18 stalwart Mark Winterbottom to witness the upside of his squad’s drastic off-season revamp.

Charlie Schwerkolt has brought in Adrian Burgess as team principal, Geoff Slater as technical director, David Reynolds as #20 driver, and Som Sharma as race engineer for the #18 DeWalt Camaro steered by ‘Frosty’.

They got to work on Wednesday with a busy pre-season test at Winton.

“Obviously with new people comes new ideas, so for the first time in many (test days), we ran out of time, not out of ideas,” said Winterbottom, who is entering his sixth season with Team 18.

“I think we made good gains in areas and we made losses and you put that all together and go over all the data.”

Among those ideas was a move to swap cars during the day, involving Winterbottom hopping behind the wheel of Reynolds’ #20 Tradie Beer Camaro and vice versa.

Reynolds, who is on a four-race podium streak, described the Winton outing as “a massive tick” despite hot weather having made conditions difficult at times.

“It was my first time dealing with everyone at Team 18 at a racetrack, first time driving a Camaro, and I had an absolute ball,” he said.

“I love working with everyone, everyone was just really, really positive.

“We had a few challenges during the day that we had to overcome but the problem was the track got really, got really hot. It was just, really hard to drive.

“The car was moving around all over the place. There was dirt and crap all over the road but overall, I think we learned a lot, especially about each other, which is most important in a team environment.

“I can’t wait to go to Bathurst and see how we go.”

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