Test day delivers in Darwin for Team 18

20 Jun
Team 18 bounced back after Taupō and Perth, where the average race result across both cars was 16.4
  • Mark Winterbottom claimed second podium of 2024

  • Both cars fast on Saturday, but missed out on Sunday

  • Winterbottom had cross-threaded wheel nut in Race 12

A pre-event test day proved beneficial for Team 18 in Darwin, with Team Principal Adrian Burgess saying the team has renewed confidence heading to Townsville.

Mark Winterbottom scored a Saturday podium, and his second podium of the season, after starting third, with teammate David Reynolds sixth.

Results eluded the team on Sunday, with Winterbottom 19th from 18th, while Reynolds charged from 21st to 12th.

Regardless, it was a marked improvement from Taupō and Perth, where the average race result across both cars was 16.4.

Burgess cited a pre-Darwin test day as being key to the team’s fast start, and while the Melbourne squad didn’t convert on Sunday, there is hope for better performance moving forward.

“We did have a good test day at Winton before we came here and a lot of what we learnt went into the car this weekend,” Burgess said in a team video.


“Whilst we’re disappointed with today’s result, we’re coming out of here knowing a lot of what we found at the test day definitely worked.

“The drivers are disappointed today but they’re actually happy that the car feels like it has got some pace. So year, overall for the weekend, great Saturday, disappointing Sunday, but this is racing.

“We’re looking forward to Townsville now, we know we have unlocked a little bit of pace in the car, so that gives us confidence going there.”

Reynolds was the biggest mover on Sunday, while Winterbottom’s efforts were masked by a cross-threaded wheel nut in the race.

"I got a mega start and drove through the field up to 11th at the time. I came in for a pit stop and had a cross-threaded wheel nut,” the 2015 champion said.

“Instead of a seven second stop, I did a 16 or 17 second stop and had to run that same left front tyre too. It was a tough day, but all in all a very strong weekend.

"Last year when we won here, I didn't feel like we had a read on the car, whereas this weekend, I feel like all the little changes we're making actually make the car better or worse, so It’s responding.

“We can fix the easy stuff. I think we've got a fast car and hopefully this turns our year around."

Reynolds and Winterbottom are 11th and 15th overall heading to Townsville on July 5-7.

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