As 2023 winds down, Supercars.com is looking over all 11 teams and their performances in this year's Repco Supercars Championship, continuing with Team 18.
Team 18 started the year with plenty of promise, with Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye both in the top 10 at the Newcastle season-opener.
The team was heading north, culminating in an emotional win for Winterbottom, which was his first in seven years. For Charlie Schwerkolt, it was win No. 1 as a fully-fledged team owner.
However, the team's second half season performances left much to be desired, with the axe swung after a Bathurst fuel miscalculation that saw Winterbottom stranded at pit entry and consigned to a DNF.
Having scored a win, the team knows how to get the job done on race day. The key for 2024, with David Reynolds arriving, is doing it over a season.
Winterbottom had nine top 10s in his first 19 races, but only got one in his final nine starts. Pye recorded eight top 10s, but a costly DNF on the Gold Coast ensured he ended up 18th on the final leaderboard.
Season results and head-to-heads
Drivers' finish: Mark Winterbottom 15th, Scott Pye 18th
Teams' finish: 8th
Best result: 1st (Mark Winterbottom, Darwin Race 13)
Qualifying head to head: Scott Pye 16, Mark Winterbottom 12
Race head to head: Mark Winterbottom 14, Scott Pye 14
What’s next in 2024?
After four years of Winterbottom/Pye, 2024 dawns a new era with Winterbottom/Reynolds.
Winterbottom and the in-form Reynolds were teammates at Ford Performance Racing/Prodrive Racing Australia, now known as Tickford Racing, between 2013 and 2015.
Both drivers fought for the 2015 title, with Winterbottom emerging victorious. They reunite after nine years, with both drivers breaking victory droughts in 2023.
Team 18 has two of the biggest personalities on the grid next season, and Reynolds ended the year in red hot form for Penrite Racing. Should the team unlock more potential with Adrian Burgess at the helm, Team 18 will be one to watch.
If Winterbottom and Reynolds work well together, and consistency in speed and improvements in qualifying are found, Team 18 will be in the discussion for trophies more often than not.