Tuesday marked a key day of running for Victorian-based teams ahead of next weekend’s Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight.
Four teams hit Winton Motor Raceway on Tuesday for testing and evaluation days.
Tickford Racing and Team 18 undertook regular test days, while Walkinshaw Andretti United and Erebus Motorsport completed evaluation days.
Tickford had its full Repco Bathurst 1000 line-up present, including the newly called-up Zak Best, who took Jack Le Brocq’s #5 Truck Assist Mustang for a spin.
Team 18’s full-time drivers Mark Winterbottom and Scott Pye were joined by the latter’s co-driver James Golding, with Michael Caruso unable to attend.
Pit stop rehearsals, such as driver changes and brake rotor changes, were part of both teams’ programmes.
WAU gave Super2 driver Zane Morse, TCR driver Aaron Cameron and S5000 driver Cooper Webster track time.
The three young drivers steered the Mobil 1-liveried #27 car most recently raced by wildcard Kurt Kostecki.
Erebus, meanwhile, gave Image Racing young guns Jaylyn Robotham (Super2) and Reef McCarthy (Super3) time behind the wheel of the team’s Boost Mobile-liveried wildcard Commodore.
The livery, which was revealed on Tuesday, will be campaigned at Mount Panorama by Greg Murphy and Richie Stanaway.
Murphy and Stanaway will feature in testing at Sydney Motorsport Park in November.
The first Sydney event will be a milestone weekend for Winterbottom, who will make his 550th race start.
Front of mind was starting at all, with drivers last competing in Townsville in July.
“It was fantastic to get back in the car today,” Winterbottom said.
“It felt a bit foreign doing those first laps, that’s the longest off-season or mid-season break we’ve ever had out of the car.
“By the third lap I started to feel on the pace and straight back into it.
“It’s been a good day, a big day as we had a pretty intensive program to go through and we found some really good results out of it.
“We’ll take a good test day under our belt as we head to Sydney Motorsport Park.
“Fingers crossed if we’re good there we’ll get four cracks at a top result.”
The 2021 season will resume at Sydney Motorsport Park next month.
Tickets for all four Sydney events are on sale now.