Sharing Mark Winterbottom’s ZB Commodore during the Supercars test at Winton proved to be beneficial for Team 18 as both drivers reported back very similar feedback.
Due to the severity of Scott Pye’s crash at Perth’s Wanneroo Raceway his car could not be repaired in time for the Winton test – this gave Team 18 the opportunity to put Pye in his teammate’s #18 Holden.
This proved very productive as together both drivers completed over 100 laps and made a host of setup tweaks which they think will be beneficial when they return to race in just over a week’s time.
Pye expressed how beneficial it was to drive former Supercars Champion Mark Winterbottom’s machine and see that they had very similar feedback.
“It was a good opportunity for me to come here and get my eye in and play with the setup a little bit as well, as the setup between the two cars is really comparable we were able to make some setup changes throughout the day,” Pye said at the end of the day.
“It was good to work with Crusty again, it was our first proper test day really so for me and him it’s really important to spend time with the driver and get an understanding of how we work together.
“All in all, it was a really good day for that so we go into next week feeling confident and ready to roll.”
Pye expressed he felt more like a co-driver, but after the changes made is confident of a strong race car for the upcoming round.
“We got plenty of laps in as well, I felt a bit like a co-driver getting less laps than the main guy but still a great opportunity to turn some laps today and we got to finish with the last run of the day,” Pye continued.
“Car speed is pretty good. I feel like we made some good improvements with setup so we go into next weekend feeling much more confident.
“A huge thanks to the team for letting me have a go in it (Frosty’s car) given my car is currently out of action.”
Pye and Winterbottom worked with their respective race engineers Richard Hollway and Manuel Sanchez, and the full crew were on hand to ensure the team could gain maximum track time despite being one car down.
“We were just trying to chase the perfect car around here, doing lots of laps and trying to get the car to where we need it to be,” Winterbottom expressed.
“In the end I don’t think we were too far away from it during that last run I did. Scott hopped in right at the end so I didn’t get a second go at it but the times were very similar on the same tyre.
“We were both asking for the same things from the car so at least when we drive the same car we’ve got the same feedback which is good for the team going forward.
“We should have good data to go away with and come up with a plan when we come back to race next week.”
The team expects Pye’s car to return from the Walkinshaw Andretti United workshop in the next couple of days to prepare for next week’s Winton SuperSprint.