Supercars team pit Kenworth T909 at Bathurst

Team 18 in the Supercars Championship has taken delivery of a brand spanking Kenworth T909 ahead of the opening round at Bathurst

Supercars team pit Kenworth T909 at Bathurst
The Kenworth T909 of Team 18 is set to cover more than 70,000km this year

Behind pit lane at Bathurst the Supercars teams' transporters dominate with swathes of chrome and flashy sponsor logos grabbing attention away from the race cars on track, and it's done this way for a specific purpose; to make the other teams take notice.

Whether the psychological factor of how new your competitor’s rig is plays on the minds of drivers is unclear, but having the biggest and best usually means you have a bigger budget and therefore an edge over the competition.

Team 18 says it has raised the bar in the Supercars transporter ranks, by unveiling a brand new Kenworth T909 prime mover to haul the IRWIN Racing and DEWALT Racing Commodores and equipment for the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship.

While the race cars are what the fans turn up for, they are closely followed in popularity by the big rigs that haul the teams’ gear all across Australia, with the traditional truck parades popular when the Supercars Championship fleet roll into town.

"It was an extremely special day on Saturday getting the delivery of our brand-new Kenworth T909 in time to head to Bathurst," says Charlie Schwerkolt, Team 18 owner.

"It’s the ultimate truck! It’s the biggest truck you can get, the toughest-looking truck, it’s got heritage, style and class and it will be the envy of every team in the pit lane."

Kenworth T909 flagship model is powered by a 15-litre Cummins X15 engine with an Eaton manual transmission.

Team 18’s T909 has a number of distinctive features including stainless tank trims, 6-inch straight-cut stacks, extra roof lights, a custom bull bar and a host of personalised accessories for team owner Charlie Schwerkolt.

"In a race team image is everything. We take the presentation of our team very seriously as it reflects back on our drivers, our crew, our fans and our wider sponsor group," Schwerkolt says.

Kenworth Australia has a longstanding partnership with Supercars as they celebrated their 20-year anniversary as the official heavy vehicle supplier for the championship in 2020. The brand also shares a long personal history with Schwerkolt, with over 20 Kenworths currently running in his Waverley Forklifts transport fleet.

From their home base in Melbourne, Team 18’s truck driver Mark Nelson will drive the T909 prime mover over 70,000km this year, pulling a B-double trailer with over 50 tonnes of equipment to the 13 rounds across Australia, including through the red centre to Darwin and across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth.

"We have over a million dollars’ worth of cars, plus another half a million dollars of spares and equipment to keep the team on track. Whether we’re going between Darwin and Townsville or across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth, reliability, performance and comfort is everything," Schwerkolt says.

Team 18’s 2021 campaign begins this weekend at Bathurst’s Mount Panorama circuit, where IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom and DEWALT Racing’s Scott Pye will tackle two 250km sprint races to kick-off the Repco Supercars Championship.

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