Dean is happy to confirm that he’ll be pairing with Mark Winterbottom in the #1 Bottle O racing entry for the 2016 endurance season.
Only 1 year into a 2 year deal at Prodrive Racing, there was no question that Dean would be staying put with the team, but the departure of David Reynolds at the end of the 2015 season meant Dean would be joining someone different for the first time in 4 years.
Dean: “I’m really happy to be joining Mark for this year. It makes a lot of sense. I’ve been at Prodrive for 10 years & there’s been plenty of driver changes during that time. Mark & I have both been here the entire time. I feel like I’m part of the furniture now.”
While it’s a new teammate, new engineer & new car number, Dean says having the familiarity of Prodrive will be an added benefit come September:
“Co-drivers get such a small amount of time to prepare & practice before September. Being able to walk into a garage where I’m comfortable, I know how it all works & I already have the trust & support of the team, is very beneficial. It certainly takes a lot of the pressure off.”
“I have a new teammate but Mark & I started racing each other in karts when we were 10 so I think we know each other pretty well. I haven’t had the opportunity to work with Jason (Car #1 engineer) but Ozzie (chief engineer, Nathaniel Osbourne) and I worked together on Car #55 for years. My number 1 mechanic, Marcus, moved over to the #1 car at the start of the season as well so I’m stoked to still be able to work with him”
“Bottle-O have also been incredibly supportive of me over the years. They are an incredible bunch of people who’ve been amazing & I’m so glad I get to stay with them.”
There has been suggestions that driving in the #1 car will add more pressure come enduros but Dean’s taking it in his stride:
“I definitely wont change anything with regards to my preparation this year. I know what my job is & I know what I need to do to get it done. Having #1 on the door doesn’t change anything. The only thing it changes is what I have to sign when I do an autograph!”
The endurance season kicks off at the Sandown 500 in September.