Mark ‘Frosty’ Winterbottom will drive the Team 18 IRWIN Racing Holden Commodore in the 2019 Supercars Championship.
Winterbottom made the move to join Charlie Schwerkolt’s single-car Team 18 outfit after announcing he’d change from Tickford Racing, ending a successful 13-year association.
The 38-year-old brings with him a variety of impressive accolades, including a 2013 Bathurst win, 2015 V8 Supercars championship and over 30 wins and 100 podiums.
“I’m really excited,” said the Melbourne-based driver. “It was a big call to go to Team 18, but now I’ve met the team and sponsors and seen what’s coming it’s really exciting. I think it’s going to be a good year.”
Winterbottom is looking forward to having a smaller crew and any challenges that come with running in a single-car outfit.
“A small team is refreshing,” he offered.
“I’m sure there’ll be some difficulties like pit stops and data sharing, but in saying that, with the weaknesses come the strengths. Having 10 to 12 crew with one goal, and having a little family going racing, is going to be a great approach.”
Winterbottom’s move to Team 18 means he’ll be behind the wheel of a Holden Commodore for the first time in his shining career.
“I haven’t thought about the badge to be honest,” said Frosty. “I’ve looked at the opportunity not the brand of car, and haven’t quite come to terms with that at the moment. From the inside they all look the same, and I think the opportunity Charlie and Team 18 offered was too good to turn down.”
The team’s 2019 major sponsor, IRWIN, spent seven years in the V8 Supercars championship before leaving the category in 2013. Team owner Charlie Schwerkolt is ecstatic to see the iconic brand return to Australia’s largest touring-car racing category with Team 18.
“It’s really great to bring the IRWIN name back into Supercars,” Schwerkolt said of the return. “It’s such an iconic brand. It was in the sport for many years and still is around the world in sports like NASCAR. To bring them back into the sport under the Stanley Black And Decker Group is really exciting.”
IRWIN elected to return to Australia’s highest level of motorsport to promote its hand tools and power-tool accessories available in Bunnings Warehouses around the country.