In an era of super teams in Supercars, there is still room for privateer customer outfits that punch above their weight. Charlie Schwerkolt’s Team 18 and driver Lee Holdsworth are certainly doing that as we examine in V8X Supercar Magazine issue #101.
Issue #101 is on sale now in stores with the digital edition available in the official V8X app (in the App Store and Google Play), online at DigitalEdition.V8XMagazine.com.au and in the Magzter app store.
CLICK HERE for more information on issue #101.
When you boil it all down, the key question for Charlie Schwerkolt is... why? Why put yourself through all this effort, expense and pain to be a Supercars team owner? It’s a question he’s clearly been asked before because his answer comes back quickly and definitively.
“Owning my own team is a good thing,” he says simply. “It’s the best thing I have done by far because we have had control of our destiny. I am really enjoying my racing and going out there and having a crack.”
Schwerkolt is the owner of Team 18 (Preston Hire Racing). It’s been around for less than two seasons yet has managed to cram a Netflix TV series worth of drama and incident into that time. And the viewers would probably dismiss it as fiction. Just creating a Supercars team from scratch was challenge enough, but then throw in the Darwin accident, driver Lee Holdsworth’s injuries, a wrecked car and the budget damage inflicted buying a replacement, a gut-wrenching Bathurst start-line failure, this year’s Australian Grand Prix torpedoing by a brakeless Nick Percat and much more and you can begin to understand the immensity of the hurdles Schwerkolt and his small band have overcome to be on the grid.
“Sometimes through 2016 I was thinking, ‘What have I done, what am I doing, this is just madness, this is just crazy’. Most of it was out of our control,” says Schwerkolt.
But Charlie’s been involved in Supercars for some years before that, too. And pretty much all along there’s been drama, controversy and challenges. But with that has come hope. Team 18 ended the 2017 season with five top 10 finishes from Sandown to Newcastle, including a fourth place at the latter.
CLICK HERE to purchase issue #101 to read the full feature.