Winterbottom, Richards re-unite for Enduro Cup programme
Charlie Schwerkolt Racing has announced the signing of Steven Richards for the three rounds of the PIRTEK Enduro Cup in a deal that sees him re-united with Mark Winterbottom.
The pair teamed up six times at Bathurst with Ford Performance Racing, securing victory in the biggest race on the Supercars calendar in 2013.
Whilst that remains Winterbottom’s only victory in the event, Richards has since gone on to win the race a further two times alongside Craig Lowndes at Triple Eight; giving him five victories in total.
With Lowndes having now retired from full-time competition, Richards has been quickly snapped by the CSR-run Team 18 outfit with the focus firmly on trying to add to the success the driver pairing have enjoyed in the past.
“Form guide wise to pick up the current Bathurst Champion as a co-driver is as good as you can get!” Winterbottom said. “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.
“Leading into the Enduros this year with Bathurst being round one, 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.”
Richards meanwhile said he was excited to join up with the team, which will run under the IRWIN Racing banner, for the Enduro Cup campaign.
“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,” he said. “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.
“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.”