Charlie Schwerkolt has revealed he will run his own single car team for the 2016 V8 Supercars Championship.
Schwerkolt will field a single Triple Eight Race Engineering-supplied Holden Commodore VF after moving his #18 Racing Entitlements Contract, and contracted driver Lee Holdsworth, to a new operation in Melbourne.
The move comes after Walkinshaw Racing announced at the WD-40 Phillip Island SuperSprint that it is to scale down from four cars to two for 2016 to focus on its two Holden Racing Team entries.
It is the first time Schwerkolt has gone out on his own since entering the sport in 2008 and the aim is to model the team on fellow Triple Eight customer Tekno Autosports.
“I’m very excited to be putting together my own team in Melbourne, and running a Triple Eight car,” Schwerkolt said.
“I had an association with Triple Eight in 2009 and 2010, so it’s great to be back into their engineering fold, with a fully aligned technical package.
“They (Triple Eight) are very successful and you can tell from their results, so it’s great to be able to put Lee into a Triple Eight Holden.
“It will only be a small team but we will have the best gear and the best people; and that will aid us to get the results we require.
“Our team has a really amazing group of partners, and I couldn’t do it without their support.”
Schwerkolt has already appointed former championship winning team manager Jeff Grech to help run the new venture.
Grech has a 32-year history in motorsport, which includes 13 years as Team Manager at the Holden Racing Team, and most recently, Tasman Motorsport.
“I’m very grateful to Charlie for giving me the opportunity to get back into the sport, it has been a big part of my life,” he said.
“It is a big challenge but it is one we are really going to love and I think we can rise to it.
“It is one that I’ve risen to before with a good group of people; and we will get a good, tight knit group of people in the team so that we can do the best job we can.
“We have also got a fantastic driver and I’ve had the opportunity to sit down with face-to-face and we are both excited about the new year.
“We will have the best equipment in the business and we have a workshop ready to go; we wanted to make sure Lee felt comfortable and confident, knowing he had the best chance possible.”
Despite just a single season at Walkinshaw Racing, Lee Holdsworth is excited by the development and the prospect of driving a Triple Eight-prepared Holden.
“2016 is going to be a huge year for my career; it excites me to take the role as a team leader with proven equipment, whilst having the support of Triple Eight,” said Holdsworth.
“We have an opportunity to make this is a successful little team with great people, and with Jeff’s guidance we are already hunting the best people.
“I feel this could be the start of something pretty special with Team 18.”