There’s more to come from Team 18 after Sydney test day given the car’s “not perfect”, says Mark Winterbottom.
Winterbottom was sixth and eighth fastest in the two sessions at Sydney Motorsport Park on Wednesday.
Teammate Scott Pye was seventh in the morning but could only manage seven laps in the afternoon due to a broken gearbox mount.
Regardless, Winterbottom — who led the times for much of the afternoon session — was left pleased after just his team’s second Gen3 running.
“We had a great day. To roll the car out, to see all our competitors and see where we’re at is a true test,” Winterbottom said.
“We were very competitive all day. We’d go out there to do a time, come in and repeat it quite well, we had a very reliable car.
“Everyone has worked so hard so it’s good to see where were are in the pack and early signs look quite good.
“Today we came away with a few things. The car’s not perfect which is a good sign.
" If we came away from here saying we’ve got no complaints and we weren’t fastest it would be tough.
“But now we know the areas to work on, what a good tyre is like and what a used tyre is like and in different conditions, so we got a good read of the car.
“We’ll have a big day on March 1st, it will be a huge test and I know what I’m looking for so we’ll put our heads to work, come away with a few solutions and focus on Newcastle.”
Pye was also satisfied despite losing almost his entire afternoon due to the gearbox mount issue.
The #20 Hino Camaro turned a day-low 22 laps, but Pye remained content with his overall pace regardless of the afternoon setback.
“All-in-all, pace-wise, comfort in the car, I’m really happy,” Pye said.
"I think we’re super competitive but a little bit disappointed that I didn’t get to throw a tyre on and do the happy hour at the end but all-in-all I’m pretty happy with the day and everyone did a great job.
“My day was cut a little bit short but it wasn’t a mechanical failure, it was just a component with the new car that failed, but at least it happened today and not at Newcastle.
“We head to Winton next week for a test day before Newcastle, but the main thing today was to see how we stacked up against the rest and the signs are looking good.”
Team 18 will test at Winton Motor Raceway on Wednesday March 1 before the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on March 10-12.
The 2023 Repco Supercars Championship will commence at the Thrifty Newcastle 500 on March 10-12.
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