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Why old dog duo is right for Team 18

WHILE championship leaders Triple Eight boasts the youngest driver pairing in the 2024 Repco Supercars Championship field, Team 18 is comfortable with being at the other end of the scale.

Joining 42-year-old Mark Winterbottom this season at Charlie Schwerkolt’s squad was 38-year-old David Reynolds. Both have won the Bathurst 1000, and Winterbottom a championship as well.

Some have questioned the approach, at a time when many rivals are getting stars of the future under lock and key, but Winterbottom and Reynolds are just what Team 18 needs, according to team principal Adrian Burgess.

After a period of instability, Team 18 left Round 1 at Bathurst holding fourth in the teams’ championship, with Reynolds having been particularly impressive.

Burgess, who was Supercars’ head of motorsport last year, has observed a much-needed calmness about the new-look Team 18.

“We’ve gone the other end of the scale than these guys (Triple Eight) going for a young team, we’ve got quite an old, mature team but that experience is going to help us,” he explained of his drivers.

“Both are level-headed, both have got a lot of experience behind them and that’s probably what our team needs at the moment.

Charlie Schwerkolt. Pic: Supplied

“In terms of the engineering group, we definitely needed to make some changes so we have brought in a couple of other experienced guys: (new technical director) Dr Geoff Slater has won a lot of races in this paddock, and the 12 Hour. He’s a good guy.

“So that will bring some depth but we have got some work to do, there’s no point beating around the bush.

“But we’re up for it, we have got a really good energy going there, everyone is motivated, the drivers are certainly motivated, we’ve got the same equipment as everybody else, so it’s down to us.”

Winterbottom is off-contract at the end of the season, while Reynolds is on a multi-year deal.

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