Team 18 drivers Scott Pye and Mark Winterbottom are looking forward to the Supercars Championship’s return to South Australia for the OTR SuperSprint at The Bend Motorsport Park this weekend.
With two top-ten finishes in Tasmania, Pye heads to The Bend Motorsport Park looking for a strong showing at his home event.
In his last visit there in 2019, Pye demonstrated his overtaking prowess at the first of two back-to-back events at The Bend, as he charged from 17th to seventh in the opening race of the weekend.
With the new two-day formats making track time a premium, Pye and his race engineer Phil Keed will look to lean on last year’s form and carry their learnings through into this weekend’s three races.
With a best result of eighth in the six races held at The Bend last year, Winterbottom will be looking to harness his top-five pace from the opening three events this season at Bathurst, Sandown and Symmons Plains to perform stronger this year.
Highlighting the long-radius turns and big-braking spots around the track, the IRWIN Racing driver rates the 18-turn 4.95km circuit as one of the toughest on the calendar to get right.
After three rounds of the season, Team 18 sit fifth in a competitive teams battle. Winterbottom currently sits sixth in the Drivers Championship, with Pye looking to climb forward from his 13th position in the standings.
Team 18 will hit the track for the first time on Saturday morning at 8:45am local time for Practice 1, before Race 9 of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship at 4:05pm. Races 10 and 11 will kick off from 12:30pm and 3:40pm respectively on Sunday.
All the action this weekend can be viewed live on Fox Sports Channel 506 and the Kayo Sports app. See below for session times.
Mark Winterbottom, driver – #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore
“I think The Bend will be a good challenge for us, in 2019 we had great results there with a fourth in the first race, but last year we had a tough run there at the double-header,” said Mark Winterbottom.
“It is going to be a test for us, so if we can come through with a quick car, achieve some good results and improve on our weaknesses from last time, it’ll be a good gain for the team.
“The Bend is a great track and the international configuration we race on, that triple right-hander is one of the best corners on the calendar.
“It’s a very-unique track and weather conditions can play a big part. It’s very open and so the wind and dust can have a massive influence on the track surface.
“Seeing as we don’t have the Adelaide 500, this is our only South Australian round, so we’re lucky that the Shahins have invested in such an impressive facility and we hope to see the South Australian fans out in force this weekend.”
2021 Repco Supercars Championship – Event 4
OTR SuperSprint, The Bend Motorsport Park
(ALL TIMES ACST, +9:30)
Practice 1, 8:45am – 30 minutes
Practice 2, 10:45am – 30 minutes
Qualifying (Race 9), 12:50pm – 3x parts
Race 9, 4:05pm – 24 laps
Qualifying (Race 10), 9:10am – 10 minutes
Qualifying (Race 11), 9:30am – 10 minutes
Race 10, 12:30pm – 24 laps
Race 11, 3:40pm – 24 laps