- IRWIN Racing and DEWALT Racing
For the second straight season, there’s reason to be excited at Team 18.
The Charlie Schwerkolt-owned outfit last season underwent an overhaul, hiring Phil Keed to lead its technical team and luring 2015 champion Mark Winterbottom into its driving ranks.
Winterbottom stays on in the IRWIN #18 Commodore but will have a teammate this time around in Scott Pye, with the team acquiring another ex-Triple Eight Holden.
The expansion to two cars is a sign of Schwerkolt’s intentions to up the ante in his mission to get to the pointy end of the grid.
Having initially existed as a customer team under the Ford Performance Racing and Walkinshaw Racing umbrellas, Team 18 established itself as a standalone operation in 2016.
Its first campaign was interrupted by injuries Lee Holdsworth sustained in a huge crash at Hidden Valley, which wrote off its original chassis.
Holdsworth and the outfit split at the end of a frustrating 2018, making way for Winterbottom.