Winterbottom retains Team 18 drive

Mark Winterbottom has sealed a multi-year contract extension with Supercars squad Team 18.

Mark Winterbottom, Team 18 Holden

The veteran has secured his immediate future with the Holden squad, which will run the new Chevrolet Camaro from 2023 onwards.

Winterbottom was subject to some mid-year speculation regarding his future, until it emerged in recent weeks that a new deal was highly likely.

He will continue to be paired with Scott Pye for a fourth consecutive season and says his desire to win races is as strong as ever.

"I think the future looks really bright for us," said Winterbottom.

"The car next year and the programme and how it’s going to happen should really suit Team 18, so yeah, I have signed there to try to win.

"It’s going to be a great couple of years and hopefully successful, that’s the plan.

“I’m really excited about Gen3, but at the same time I feel like I’m driving well and I feel like the team is going in the right direction.

"I race to win – I don’t race to just make up numbers and [team owner] Charlie [Schwerkolt] doesn’t either. Gen3 is a big opportunity for Team 18, it’s massive, but at the same time we have tried our backsides even this year to try to finish the year off strong with what we have got.

"I’m motivated, fit, hungry and I have won before so I know what it takes and I feel like Team 18 is on that path to success and I don’t want to miss out on that.

"I have put a lot of effort in to get there and I think the future looks really strong."

Schwerkolt said re-signing the popular driver was a formality, despite the deal taking a long time to come together.

"He’s the real deal. The sponsors absolutely love him, the fans love him, he’s got more fans than anyone at the moment I think, but as a driver he has still got it," said Schwerkolt.

“It was an easy decision to get it done. Timing, it was just – I’m a pretty busy guy, but getting it done, it was quite easy.

"He’s an easy guy to work with and we’re both on the same page so it was quick and easy and we move on and look forward to obviously going into Gen3.

“I think Gen3 is a really big opportunity. Racing the Chevy Camaro will be a big thing for Team 18."

The Winterbottom deal means the Supercars grid is almost set for the 2023 season.

With Tim Slade off to PremiAir Racing and Todd Hazelwood set to replace him at Blanchard Racing Team, the final question mark is who will replace Hazelwood at Matt Stone Racing.

The team is thought to be looking at young talent, with the likes of Jayden Ojeda and Declan Fraser rumoured to be in the mix.

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