Schwerkolt hunting breakthrough Bathurst win

02 Oct
'I would love to win that one more than anything'
3 mins by James Pavey
  • Team 18 has best finish of sixth in Bathurst, in 2019 and 2020

  • Schwerkolt's team scored first Supercars victory in Darwin in June

  • Team 18 cars finished 11th, 21st in gruelling Sandown 500

A Bathurst victory for Team 18 would complete a perfect circle for Charlie Schwerkolt, who wants to score a Great Race win "more than anything".

Schwerkolt’s team heads to Mount Panorama off the back of a mixed Sandown campaign, with his two cars 11th and 21st in the first enduro of 2023.

Team 18 has already struck gold in the Gen3 era, with Mark Winterbottom taking an emotional victory first victory for the Mount Waverley squad in Darwin.

Mount Panorama has, however, been unkind to Schwerkolt and his team, which has a best Great Race finish of sixth in 2019 and 2020.

Best of Bathurst: Most iconic moments

Last year, both cars picked up damage after an intra-team hit during the first-lap Mountain Straight incident. Winterbottom/Michael Caruso finished 15th, and Scott Pye/Tyler Everingham 16th.

For 2023, Pye has reunited with Warren Luff, the pair finishing second with Walkinshaw Andretti United in 2017 and 2018. 2013 Bathurst winner Winterbottom and Caruso continue for a third season.

A Bathurst win would complete a fascinating journey for Schwerkolt himself, after his early days travelling to Mount Panorama with his father to watch the race.

"[Bathurst] hasn’t been the kindest place for me," Schwerkolt said on the latest Rusty’s Garage podcast.

winterbottom bathurst 2022

"When COVID was happening, there was a race that was on [in 2020] and we got a [sixth and eighth] with Scott and Mark.


"A lot of the time, we’ve had little gremlins, something goes wrong. Last year’s race, we had a nose-to-tail, both cars of mine.

"It’s been a bit of a tough one but yes, certainly I would love to win that one more than anything. It’s such a special place."

Schwerkolt enjoys running a successful forklifts business, Waverley Forklifts, but racing was always a calling — Schwerkolt's parents Charles and Helen started the Studebaker Car Club in 1967.

He grew up near Sandown in Melbourne’s south east, and also went with his father to Mount Panorama to watch the Great Race.

schwerkolt darwin pit lane

Being trackside this weekend will return Schwerkolt to the Supercars paddock full stop, given he missed Sandown due to a business trip — the first time he had missed a Supercars round in several years.

"As a kid, dad would take me to Bathurst, I remember the 60s and 70s going up there," Schwerkolt said.

"I remember Bill Brown rolling the GTHO Falcon across the top, and I’m standing next to it, it’s on this little fence there.

"Going to Sandown as a kid, because we only lived four or five kilometres from Sandown. Seeing the the old pits there, seeing Allan Moffat and [Colin] Bond, all my heroes, they were special times.

"I watched it all the time and loved it, I really have."

Supercars action at the Repco Bathurst 1000 commences on Thursday. All sessions of the October 5-8 event will be broadcast live on Fox Sports and Kayo. The Seven Network will take live free-to-air coverage from Friday.

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