Mark Winterbottom won last weekend's round of the Australian V8 Supercar series. Fabian Coulthard was the best of the Kiwis, finishing ninth overall.
Two victories and a second placing took Fiord Performance Racing (FPR) Falcon driver Mark Winterbottom to the Australian V8 Supercar round victory at Queensland Raceway last weekend.
FPR now holds a comfortable lead in the V8 Supercar Championship..
Winterbottom beat fellow Ford driver James Courtney off the line in Sunday morning’s first race and effectively led every lap after that.
He withstood a determined attack from Russell Ingall (Holden Commodore) in the Sunday afternoon race but the Orrcon Steel Ford Credit Falcon powered away in the second half as Ingall’s tyres faded.
Winterbottom’s teammate Steve Richards’ weekend was overshadowed by an incident with Mark Skaife (Commodore) in Sunday morning’s race. The Holden driver outbraked himself into the back of the Castrol FPR Falcon, spinning Richards to 12th.
“I couldn’t see what was going on behind me,” Richards said. “All I know is I was on the inside of him and then got a shove from behind. You’re already on the edge through that corner so any contact will turn you around.”
He recovered to finish seventh and looked good for a podium as he sought to take advantage of the lap one haggling in the second race of the day.
As the pack bunched, Richards went wide at turn three but was again tagged and fell down the order to 18th, eventually finishing 11th
In trace one on Saturday, Winterbottom hounded race winner James Courtney for the entire 38 laps, never getting more than 0.6 seconds adrift.
FPR executed a perfect pitstop, putting Winterbottom back on track wheel-to-wheel with the rival Ford driver, but Courtney had the racing line and made no errors.
“We’ve got the points ticking away but we’ll still be going for race wins,” Winterbottom said after winning the round.
“I’ve got a bit of confidence now. In 2006 (Jason) Bright had the pace on me and in 2007 I had the raw pace but I made a few stupid mistakes.
“Now I’ve got the perfect combination and we’re leading the championship! We’ve got a strong car, a strong team; it’s all gelling and I feel like this is my time.”
V8 Supercar results from Queensland Raceway
Race One: 1. James Courtney, Ford falcon; 2. Mark Winterbottom, Falcon; 3. Russell Ingall, Holden Commodore; 4. Garth Tander, Commodore; 5. Mark Skaife, Commodore; 6. Will Davison, Falcon, 7. Steven Richards, Falcon; 8. Rick Kelly, Commodore: 9. Jamie Whincup, Falcon; 10. Lee Holdsworth, Commodore. Kiwis: Fabian Coulthard, falcon, 12th; Jason Richards. Commodore, 14th; Shane Van Gisbergen, Falcon, 17th; Greg Murphy, Commodore, 24th; Kayne Scott, Falcon, 26th.
Race Two: 1. Winterbottom; 2. Ingall; 3. Whincup; 4. Tander; 5. Davison; 6. James Courtney; 7. Steven Richards; 8. Coulthard; 9. Cameron McConville, Commodore: 10. Skaife/ Kiwis: Coulthard 8th; Jason Richards, 14th; Murphy 20th; Van Gisbergen 21st: Scott, DNF.
Race Three: 1. Winterbottom; 2. Courtney; 3. Ingall
4. Tander; 5. Davison; 6. Whincup; 7. Craig Lowndes, Falcon; 8. Coulthard; 9. Skaife;10. Holdsworth. Kiwis: Coulthard 8th; Van Gisbergen 17th; Murphy 19th; Richards 22nd; Scott 24th.
Championship Points: Winterbottom 1694; Tander 1572; Whincup 1486; Rick Kelly 1312; Steven Richards 1299; James Courtney 1211; Craig Lowndes 1175; Will Davison 1154; Russell Ingall 1061; Lee Holdsworth 1016.