Charlie Schwerkolt Racing
|Team Principal||Charlie Schwerkolt|
|Team Manager||Jeff Grech|
|Race Drivers||18. Lee Holdsworth|
|2017 position||13th (1647 pts)|
Charlie Schwerkolt Racing (also known as CS Racing or Team 18, and commercially as Preston Hire Racing) is an Australian motor racing team that currently competes in the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship. The team's current driver is Lee Holdsworth, driving the No. 18 Holden ZB Commodore.
The team is owned by Gold Coast businessman Charlie Schwerkolt, who previously had a shareholding in Dick Johnson Racing. When the relationship between Schwerkolt and Dick Johnson broke down at the end of 2010, as part of the split Schwerkolt retained ownership of one of the two Racing Entitlement Contracts (RECs).
Schwerkolt had attempted to conclude a deal to run a fourth car out of Ford Performance Racing with James Courtney driving, but after Courtney signed to drive with the Holden Racing Team, the deal collapsed. The REC was instead leased to Dick Johnson Racing for James Moffat's entry for the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
With the rules governing the use of Racing Entitlement Contracts dictating that Schwerkolt could only lease his to one party for two years, he either had to sell it, lease it to another party, or use it himself. Schwerkolt decided on the latter and came to an agreement with Ford Performance Racing to operate a fully supported customer car as a satellite of the main FPR team in much the same manner as Rod Nash Racing. Alex Davison drove the car in 2013 and Jack Perkins in 2014.
For 2015, Lee Holdsworth became the team's driver. The team had originally intended to remain in their existing relationship with Ford Performance Racing (now known as Prodrive Racing Australia), but they were replaced by Super Black Racing as the Ford team's second customer partnership. Instead, the team became a satellite team to the Holden Racing Team, and ran a Holden VF Commodore.
In 2016, Charlie Schwerkolt Racing began operating as an independent entity, using a Triple Eight Race Engineering-built Commodore. Jeff Grech, the former Holden Racing Team team manager, is running the team. The title sponsor of the team is Preston Hire, who joined the team during the 2015 season. It was a difficult season for the outfit, with Holdsworth suffering a major accident in Darwin leaving him with a fractured pelvis and out of action for three rounds, and was replaced with Kurt Kostecki for Townsville and Ipswich (having borrowed the teenagers' DVS chassis) and Karl Reindler for Sydney. The team did not fare well in the Enduro Cup either, retiring from the Bathurst 1000 after two laps with a broken rocker, as well as one of the GC600 races after Reindler crashed exiting turn three. The team finished 15th in the teams' championship, beating only Britek Motorsport and the 'Supergirls' wildcard.
Holdsworth remained at the team for 2017, starting with two midfield finishes at Adelaide before being involved in a high-speed crash with Nick Percat at the non-championship Australian Grand Prix round, after Percat lost braking entering turn one. The team avoided the multi-car pile-up in Tasmania, however, were caught out in the changeable conditions on the Sunday, finishing 17th. The team continued to run midfield throughout the season, Lee ending the season 16th in the standings with a best result of 4th on the Saturday in Newcastle.
Supercars Championship drivers
The following is a list of drivers who have driven for the team in the Supercars Championship, in order of their first appearance. Drivers who only drove for the team on a part-time basis are listed in italics.
- Charlie Schwerkolt sells his share of DJR Speedcafe 3 December 2010
- Courtney: Thanks for the title, now see you later Sydney Morning Herald 12 December 2010
- FPR, Schwerkolt join forces for 2013 Speedcafe 21 May 2012
- Alex Davison secures fourth FPR seat Speedcafe 10 December 2012
- Jack Perkins confirmed for full-time V8 rebirth Speedcafe 9 December 2013
- "Lee Holdsworth switches to CSR in 2015". Speedcafe. 13 November 2014.
- "Walkinshaw Racing confirm Schwerkolt and Holdsworth move". Holden Motorsport. 19 January 2015.