IRWIN Racing is pleased to announce that Steve Richards will join Mark Winterbottom in the #18 Holden Commodore for the Pirtek Enduro Cup in the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Winterbottom is excited to share the driver’s seat with Richards again who he was previously partnered with for six years at Ford Performance Racing where they claimed the Bathurst 1000 Trophy together in 2013, marking the first Bathurst victory for Winterbottom and one of five for Richards.
“Form guide wise to pick up the current Bathurst Champion as a Co-Driver that’s as good as you can get! Richo and I have been mates for years and we’ve had a lot of cracks at Bathurst together and had some really strong Enduro Campaigns but unfortunately only have one win to go against our names together.”
Winterbottom expressed how crucial experience will be in the upcoming Enduro Cup with the Bathurst 1000 now listed as the first Enduro Races on the calendar.
“Leading into the Enduro’s this year with Bathurst being Round 1 I think experience will be even more crucial than ever and Richo has that experience with a Triple Eight Car so he is the perfect asset to pick up with his ability, knowledge and talent. I think the credibility of the Team is really good at the moment and people can see good things are happening. To land him is another benefit for the team, he’ll play a role all year, come to tests, come into the workshop and he’s another smart head we’ll have at the team.”
After claiming the 2018 Bathurst 1000 with Craig Lowndes, Richards is looking forward to working with a new team and re-joining his old teammate and friend in Winterbottom.
“After last year a new opportunity opened up for me and Frosty indicated a vision Charlie had for the team and how they were going to move forward which sparked my interest. I’m really looking forward to what lies ahead, Frosty and I have always kept in touch and remained good friends since we finished racing together. I’ve got a lot of respect for him and his ability and I’m really excited to team up again and hoping to replicate what happened for us in 2013.”
Richards will join Winterbottom at the Bathurst 1000, Sandown 500 and Gold Coast 600 on track but will also aspire to be involved at additional race weekends, testing and in the IRWIN Racing Garage.
“Charlie has tied up a great team of people to move his team forward with great equipment and I want to be as involved as a co-driver possibly can and I’m excited to be a part of the team and see how they move forward throughout the year.”
IRWIN Racing will now prepare for the Superloop Adelaide 500 for Round 1 of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, to be held on 28 February – 3 March with all races to be televised LIVE on Fox Sports.