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Winterbottom resolute amid Team 18 change

IT will be a new-look Team 18 in 2024 and Mark Winterbottom is vowing to make the most of it.

‘Frosty’ may or may not have a new full-time race engineer next year, but he definitely will have a different face on the other side of the garage in David Reynolds, while Adrian Burgess is coming on as team principal.

It’s the latest revamp of Charlie Schwerkolt’s team, which won a race this year via Winterbottom in Darwin but endured an embarrassing Bathurst 1000 in which both cars ran out of fuel (although the #20 of Scott Pye/Warren Luff did end up finishing).

Winterbottom wound up 15th in the championship – his worst end-of-season ranking since 2005.

“Obviously winning Darwin was a mega result and something I’m really proud of, but we’ve got work to do, so on our days we’re good, and on our off days we’re struggling,” said the 2015 champion.

“There are lots of changes happening for next year and I’ll be here fighting as hard as I can.

“At the moment it’s about going away, relaxing, and coming back in January as hungry as ever.

“Team 18, we will be better. We will continue to strive, and the day will come where all this hard work pays off.”

Mark Winterbottom. Pic: Supplied/Mark Horsburgh

Pye leaves the team after four seasons and will take on a co-driving role at Triple Eight.

“Thanks to everyone at Team 18 for four years, they have been turbulent, but it’s been nice to make some long-term friends,” he said.

“I think there’s some great people here in this team and I wish them all the best in the future.

“I hope to see them get the success that they deserve. They work hard and they are a good group of people.”

Reynolds will join Team 18 on a hot run of form, as the only driver to have scored a podium in each of the final four races of 2023.

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