IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom and the Team 18 crew enjoyed a day out on the water on the Gold Coast with Jet Ski Safaris before heading to Adelaide for this weekend’s Repco SuperSprint at The Bend Motorsport Park.

The two-hour adventure saw the team leave Marina Mirage, head up the Gold Coast broadwater and through the mangroves before stopping at the famous Tippler’s Cafe on South Stradbroke Island for a private breakfast, before making their way back down to Southport.

Following the four-week back-to-back Supercars events at Darwin and Townsville, Winterbottom sits eighth in the drivers standings as he looks ahead to The Bend and the grand finale of the 2020 season at the Bathurst 1000 where he will team up with James Golding.

Team 18 currently sits fifth in the teams points in its first year as a two-car operation for the Charlie Schwerkolt owned squad.

The team is currently on its way to South Australia for the upcoming double-header at The Bend, kicking off this weekend with the Repco SuperSprint on 19-20 September. The first weekend will utilise the 4.95km ‘international’ circuit used in previous Supercars events, while the second weekend will see a switch to the 3.41km ‘west’ layout.

Mark Winterbottom – Driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

“Jet Skis and the Gold Coast go hand-in-hand and the team at Jet Ski Safaris went all-out for us today as we saw what the Gold Coast has to offer from the water.

“It’s been great to enjoy the Gold Coast lifestyle, we went to visit the iconic Tipplers Cafe and enjoy the day out on the water with the whole team.

“COVID has knocked the tourism industry around as they’ve missed out on the influx of southerners who visit the Gold Coast to escape the southern winter.

“We’re a couple of days out from a race but we are bonding really well and enjoying the activities that the Gold Coast has to offer.

“The Bend is going to be interesting, it’s a track where I can qualify well but race pace is crucial there so we’ll see what developments we’ve made in the car.

“They’re going to change the track layout week-to-week which is unique in our sport. We’ve had back-to-back races this year where you rock up and drive the same track, but a different track layout is going to make a big difference.

“We have to treat it as two very seperate weekends although they are back-to-back and I’m looking forward to that challenge.

“The lead-up to Bathurst this year will be far different to any other, but when you get there on the starting grid and knowing the prize on offer, that feeling won’t change.

“We’ll get through the double-header at The Bend, return to the Gold Coast and prepare as well as possible and no doubt when we drive into Mount Panorama that eerie feeling will still be there.”