Flying start by Winterbottom on the Gold Coast

22 October 2010

Frosty P1 in practice

Mark Winterbottom has made a flying start to his campaign in the Armor All Gold Coast 600, event 11 in the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series, on the streets of Surfers Paradise today.

Winterbottom blasted around the new-look shortened Surfers Paradise circuit to finish with a time of 1min12.3486sec, placing him almost one-tenth of a second clear of Ford Performance Racing stable-mate Paul Dumbrell at the top of the timesheets.

Steve Richards started the day off by posting the fastest time of the opening session aboard the Orrcon Steel-backed Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon before he finished as the 14th fastest driver of the day.

IndyCar star Will Power, who is one of 18 international drivers competing at this weekend’s event, quickly adapted to the unfamiliar characteristics of a V8 Supercar by posting the fastest time by an ‘international’ driver for the day.

Power, who qualified fastest three years in a row for the IndyCar event at the Gold Coast venue, was pleased with his progression throughout the day and is excited about the prospect of a good result across the weekend.

Not to be outdone by his team-mates Luke Youlden, who is paired with Winterbottom this weekend, also showed some strong speed during the co-drivers session where he finished 12th quickest.

Tomorrow’s action will consist of qualifying at 9:35am followed by the top ten shootout at 10:50am and a 102-lap race at 1:35pm (local time). The event will be highlighted on Sunday with a further qualifying session ahead of race two of the weekend at 1:35pm.


Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
"The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon feels really good, I was on an even better lap late in the session and pitted so I'm very happy with the way it feels. At this stage it is better than last year's car here but it is early days (in the weekend) yet," said Winterbottom.

"We'll keep plugging away and try to continually improve it but finishing fastest today is certainly a great start.

"The first chicane is the biggest change in the track layout, obviously the hairpin is the biggest noticeable change but the chicane is really wide open, you're actually going through a gear higher than you ever had. It has really livened up the racing a bit and should make it a better race which ultimately is why everyone comes so I think they've got it pretty right."

Luke Youlden – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
"It was a bit of a quick day for me, I got 40 minutes in the car during the co-drivers session and then watched Mark do all of the hard work during the day," said Youlden.

"The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon felt pretty strong for me and then obviously Mark was very comfortable as well.

"I’m confident that we will be able to continue this form across the weekend."

Steve Richards – Orrcon Steel-backed #6 Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon
"The car feels handy, we've had a reasonable run today, unfortunately I didn't get a run on the green tyre set in the final session so our final position could have been a bit higher up if we got the run," said Richards.

"I don't think we're too far away and a couple of tweaks tonight and we'll be right up there.

"Will has done a fantastic job, I must admit that I didn't expect anything different than that. The guys at this level won't take long to adapt, especially when they are coming back to a slower car. He did a fantastic job and I'm really, really happy with everything so far. Now we've got to get a good result on the weekend."

Will Power – Orrcon Steel-backed #6 Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon
"It was a really good day, I got the hang of the car and slowly crept up on it and kept it off the wall, which was the first aim," said Power.

"I learnt what I could about the car, feel pretty comfortable and very relaxed. I think we are in for a good weekend.

"Even though they have shortened the track, it is a still as fun as it ever was. The shorter track is good for us Internationals as we get some more laps, we need as many laps as we can and that's what I got today."

Event 11 of the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series
Armor All Gold Coast 600
Surfers Paradise, QLD

RESULTS: Combined Practice
1. #5 M.Winterbottom/L.Youlden 1:12.3486
2. #55 P.Dumbrell/J.Villeneuve 1:12.4420
3. #18 J.Courtney/W.Luff 1:12.5077
4. #2 G.Tander/C.McConville 1:12.6403
5. #33 L.Holdsworth/G.Ritter 1:12.6524
6. #8 J.Richards/A.Jones 1:12.6583
7. #888 C.Lowndes/A.Priaulx 1:12.7878
8. #14 J.Bright/A.Menu 1:12.8618
9. #51 G.Murphy/Y.Muller 1:12.8837
10. #3 T.D'Alberto/T.Monteiro 1:12.8855
14. #6 S.Richards/W.Power 1:13.0720

V8 Supercar Championship Series Points Standings
After Race 18 of 26

1. James Courtney 2323
2. Jamie Whincup 2198
3. Craig Lowndes 2039
4. Mark Winterbottom 2030
5. Garth Tander 1938
6. Shane Van Gisbergen 1773
7. Rick Kelly 1688
8. Lee Holdsworth 1631
9. Michael Caruso 1514
10. Paul Dumbrell 1440
18. Steve Richards 1051

Circuit: Surfers Paradise Street Circuit II
Location: Surfers Paradise, QLD
Circuit Length: 2.96 kilometres
Format: 2 X 300km races (102-laps)
2009 Attendance: 205,260 (four days)
2009 Saturday Pole Position: Mark Winterbottom
2009 Saturday Race Winner: Garth Tander
2009 Sunday Pole Position: Jason Bargwanna
2009 Sunday Race Winners: Mark Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom
Debut: Event 11 - 2004
Races: 16
Best Qualifying: 1st (R1 - 2009)
Avg. Qualifying: 13.7
Best Races Result: 1st (R2 - 2009)
Avg. Race Result: 10.4

Steve Richards
Debut: Event 11 - 2002
Races: 20
Best Qualifying: 5th (2004,2005, 2007)
Avg. Qualifying: 8.4
Best Race Result: 1st (R3 - 2007)
Avg. Race Result: 16.9

Times below are Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT + 10 hours)
Add one hour for AEDST

Saturday 23 October 2010
9:35am – 10:05am – Qualifying
10:50am – 11:20am – Top Ten Shootout
1:35pm – Race One (Series Race 19) - 102 laps

Sunday 24 October 2010
11:00am – 11:30am – Warm Up
1:35pm – Race Two (Series Race 20) - 102 laps

Times subject to amendment – please check local guides

Saturday 23 October 2010
12:00pm – 5:30pm: (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth)
11:00pm – 4:30pm (Brisbane)

Sunday 24 October 2010
12:00pm – 5:30pm: (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth)
11:00pm – 4:30pm (Brisbane)

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