Mark Winterbottom completes Team 18 Holden 2019 Supercars move

Ford's last Supercars champion Mark Winterbottom has completed his move to Holden and the single-car Team 18 squad for the 2019 season

Mark Winterbottom completes Team 18 Holden 2019 Supercars move

Ex-Tickford driver Winterbottom's switch to Charlie Schwerkolt's team will be backed by former Stone Brothers Racing sponsor Irwin Tools, and a new Triple Eight Commodore is expected to be part of the deal.

"To have Mark drive with us in 2019 is really big, he brings a whole range of experience and accolades to Team 18," said Schwerkolt, who is a title-winning team owner thanks to a spell with Dick Johnson Racing.

"We've got some new engineering and partnerships forming which will take us to a new level in 2019."

The move means Winterbottom will be behind the wheel of a Holden for the first time in his career.

His Tickford/Ford partnership yielded a title in 2015, which was the first for Ford since James Courtney's 2010 triumph alongside Schwerkolt at DJR.

"I haven't thought about the badge to be honest," Winterbottom said.

"I've looked at the opportunity not the brand of car, and haven't quite come to terms with that at the moment, but from the inside they all look the same and the opportunity that Charlie and Team 18 offered was too good to turn down.

"The Holden will be different but at the same time if we are winning races I'll be happy to do it in whatever equipment we have."

Winterbottom added that the challenge of moving from a four-car superteam to a single-car squad was not lost on him, but is a situation he is looking forward to.

"A small team is refreshing; to have the whole team working together for one goal and all working together," he said.

"Every person has to deliver to get the result and that's myself, the engineers, everyone.

"I'm sure there will be some difficulties like pitstops and data sharing, but in saying that with the weaknesses come the strengths, and having 10 to 12 crew with one goal, and having a little family going racing, is going to be a great approach."

He also told Fox Sports that the possibility of Triple Eight machinery was a key part of Team 18's appeal.

Winterbottom and Courtney are the only non-Triple Eight drivers to have won titles since 2007 - and even Courtney's came in a T8-built chassis run by DJR.

"I've tried so many years to beat them, blood, sweat, tears, hours and hours trying to beat that team," Winterbottom said.

"But look at the data. There's a point where you try so hard to beat them and you can't.

"I'm looking forward to trying to drive that car and going against them in the same equipment."

Winterbottom hopes he can push T8 regulars Whincup and Shane van Gisbergen just as van Gisbergen pushed Whincup and Craig Lowndes when in a Tekno-run T8 customer car.

"I'm sure they are going to want to see what we're doing, like when van Gisbergen was at Tekno," he added.

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