Amazing Title Fight In Tasmania

22 November 2008

Frosty finishes 3rd in Qualifying and Race 1

Ferocious conditions at Symmons Plains today saw similar on-track action as Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom continued his bid for the V8 Supercar Championship Series crown.

Track positions changed continually as unsettled weather sent cars spinning into the gravel or dashing for the pits. In a bold strategic move, Frosty was the first to opt for wets and the leaders soon followed. After that he and championship rival Jamie Whincup stuck together for most of the 50 laps in a bumper-to-bumper fight for the title.

The two clashed more than once, in one instance bending the Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon's steering. The damage cost Frosty his advantage and he had to settle for third behind Whincup.

Steve Richards was an early victim of the treacherous conditions. After defending team-mate Frosty in the hectic opening laps, the Castrol FPR Falcon pushed hard to regain position but was put out of the race when Lee Holdsworth turned in on him.

Tomorrow's Race Two gets underway at 11:45.

Mark Winterbottom Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon
'That was a great race but it was tough just to stay on in the early stages. Whether to put wets or slicks on was crucial and we were the pioneers to come in and make the change. We had the right strategy and the right car to win but Jamie and I banged wheels and bent the steering quite badly.

'The racing was hard but clean. Some people were raging through and you had to decide whether to push hard and catch them. Only one in five stayed on the track and unfortunately one of them was Whincup and I just couldn't catch him.

'I thought there was going to be an accident but when Lee Holdsworth got out of the way, that upped our percentage of having a straight car; he was racing like a lunatic at the start of the race and drove straight into the back of me.'

Steve Richards Castrol FPR Falcon
'Holdsworth had something happen at turn six and a couple of cars got up the inside including me. I wasn't quite level but enough that he should have given me a bit of room but he just turned across the front of me. I actually straightened him up! The collision plucked my wheel off and damaged the right front suspension.'

Tim Edwards Team Principal
'Lee Holdsworth was trying to win the championship in that race; he nearly took Frosty out on the first lap and then got involved with all the other drivers as well. I'm sure he's a hero in his own eyes!

'Apart from that, it was good racing from Mark. We made the right strategy call and that got us back a couple of places. It was just unfortunate that Jamie turned in on him and bent the steering. We went from being significantly faster to having the same pace as him.'

Tasmania Challenge - 2008 V8 Supercar Series - Round 13
1. Garth Tander, HRT, 0:51.8338
2. Jamie Whincup, 888, + 0:00.2100
3. Mark Winterbottom, Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon, + 0:00.2141
4. Lee Holdsworth, GRM, + 0:00.2370
5. Steven Johnson, DJR, +0:00.2508
6. James Courtney, SBR, +0:00.2835
7. Rick Kelly, HSV, +0:00.2842
8. Steve Richards, Castrol FPR Falcon, +0:00.3039
9. Craig Lowndes, 888, +0:00.3356
10. Todd Kelly, Perkins Motorsport, +0:00.4255

Tasmania Challenge - 2008 V8 Supercar Series - Round 13
Race One
1. Todd Kelly, Perkins Motorsport
2. Jamie Whincup, 888
3. Mark Winterbottom, Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon
4. Will Davison, DJR
5. Shane Van Gisbergen, SBR
6. Craig Lowndes, 888

DNF Steve Richards, Castrol FPR Falcon

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