Double Podium for Winterbottom at Sandown
Frosty finishes 2nd after a drama packed race
Mark Winterbottom has recorded two podium results in as many days at the Norton 360 Sandown Challenge held in Melbourne across the weekend.
Winterbottom, who won the final race at last weekend’s event in Tasmania, started the weekend of strongly by securing third place for yesterday’s race in the top ten shootout aboard the #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon.
He then went on to record a strong third position behind FPR stable-mate Paul Dumbrell and Jamie Whincup in the opening race around the 4.45km circuit.
In today’s race Winterbottom led the way off the start line before he was passed by Russell Ingall, who benefited from starting on the softer Dunlop tyre that each driver used at different points in the race.
When Will Davison and Michael Caruso came together at high speed at the end of the back straight sending both drivers off at high speed into the barriers, it brought about the second red flag in as many days. Yesterday’s was for Garth Tander who endured a similar incident to bring about the first race stoppage in over ten years in the category. Thankfully all drivers emerged uninjured from both incidents.
Winterbottom again led the field away on the restart, however, with 15 laps remaining James Courtney found a way past and went on to take the win ahead of Winterbottom and fellow championship contender Jamie Whincup.
Steve Richards battled to find a strong set-up aboard the Orrcon Steel-backed #6 Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon enduring an ‘understeering’ issue across the weekend which masked his true potential. As a result he could only manage 12th and 15th across the pair of races.
With one event remaining in the championship chase, Courtney leads Whincup by 53 points. Winterbottom is third with Richards 17th.
The final race in the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series is the Sydney Telstra 500 to be held on December 4-6.
QUOTES FROM THE DRIVERS
Mark Winterbottom – #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon
"It was a good weekend, the car on the hard tyre in today's race was perfect - I was really happy and comfortable but then that race had everything in it and I think on the hard tyre we comfortably had the win but on the soft tyre we just didn't have the pace," said Winterbttom.
"What an exciting weekend though, you've got guys fighting for the championship, you've got all three contenders on the podium, the red flags, the restarts - all the drama was unfolding.
"Going into the last round I need to speak with the airlines to get James and Jamie's flights delayed until Monday as 200 points is almost too much to peg back so I'll just go there to try and win both races. If I can finish third (in the championship) it is a good result from when I was eighth at one stage and I've been the only one that has moved forward in a big hurry.
"If I can finish third and try to win a couple of races in Sydney it will cap off a good year."
Steve Richards – Orrcon Steel-backed #6 Dunlop Super Dealer FPR Falcon
"All weekend we just seemed to battle - battle for pace, battle for postion - just battled," said Richards.
"When the red flag came out I thought we were looking pretty good as we hadn't pitted to fit our softs and the guys who had pitted still needed to stop again to fuel up but then the race was shortened due to the due the red flag which helped the guys who pitted early.
"We also had an issue in one of the pit stops where the car was dropped early and the wheels weren't changed which cost us a fair bit of time.
"We now have to look towards Sydney and hopefully finishing the year off on a high."
Event 13 of the 2010 V8 Supercar Championship Series
Norton 360 Sandown Challenge
V8 Supercar Championship Series Points Standings
After Race 24 of 26
1. James Courtney 2782
2. Jamie Whincup 2750
3. Mark Winterbottom 2591
4. Craig Lowndes 2495
5. Garth Tander 2328
6. Shane Van Gisbergen 2262
7. Rick Kelly 2032
8. Lee Holdsworth 2021
9. Paul Dumbrell 1998
10. Michael Caruso 1892
17. Steven Richards 1420
RESULTS: Race Two
1. #18 James Courtney
2. #5 Mark Winterbottom
3. #1 Jamie Whincup
4. #33 Lee Holdsworth
5. #17 Steven Johnson
6. #47 Tim Slade
7. #55 Paul Dumbrell
8. #15 Rick Kelly
9. #19 Jonathon Webb
10. #51 Greg Murphy
15. #6 Steve Richards
1. #55 Paul Dumbrell 1:10.5053
2. #5 Mark Winterbottom 1:10.5323
3. #33 Lee Holdsworth 1:10.5825
4. #1 Jamie Whincup 1:10.6355
5. #18 James Courtney 1:10.6596
6. #888 Craig Lowndes 1:10.8005
7. #14 Jason Bright 1:10.8197
8. #34 Michael Caruso 1:10.9764
9. #24 Fabian Coulthard 1:10.9946
10. #22 Will Davison 1:10.9989
13. #6 Steve Richards 1:11.0837
RESULTS: Race One
1. #55 Paul Dumbrell
2. #1 Jamie Whincup
3. #5 Mark Winterbottom
4. #18 James Courtney
5. #39 Russell Ingall
6. #33 Lee Holdsworth
7. #15 Rick Kelly
8. #888 Craig Lowndes
9. #9 Shane van Gisbergen
10. #22 Will Davison
12. #6 Steve Richards
RESULTS: Top Ten Shootout
1. #1 Jamie Whincup 1:10.8136
2. #55 Paul Dumbrell 1:10.9498
3. #5 Mark Winterbottom 1:10.9932
4. #22 Will Davison 1:11.1394
5. #2 Garth Tander 1:11.1441
6. #18 James Courtney 1:11.3375
7. #33 Lee Holdsworth 1:11.4261
8. #39 Russell Ingall 1:11.4440
9. #15 Rick Kelly 1:11.6658
10. #7 Todd Kelly 1:12.1983
1. #1 Jamie Whincup 1:10.2397
2. #5 Mark Winterbottom 1:10.5899
3. #15 Rick Kelly 1:10.6077
4. #55 Paul Dumbrell 1:10.8457
5. #22 Will Davison 1:10.8772
6. #7 Todd Kelly 1:10.8841
7. #39 Russell Ingall 1:10.8893
8. #2 Garth Tander 1:10.9147
9. #18 James Courtney 1:10.9167
10. #33 Lee Holdsworth 1:10.9256
16. #6 Steve Richards 1:11.100
SPEED TV (Foxtel 505) and SPEED TV HD (Foxtel 206)
Sunday 21 November 2010
9:30pm – 11:00pm: (Series Race 24 Highlights)
Monday 22 November 2010
10:30am – 11:30am: (Series Race 23 Highlights)
11:30am - 1:00pm: (Series Race 23 Highlights)