Will claims Pepsi's first win

14 April 2013

Frosty gets crashed out

Fords Pepsi Max Crew has claimed its first race victory of the season and Pepsi Max's first ever race win after Will put in a controlled yet precise drive to win the opening race on the final day of action at Pukekohe Park Raceway in New Zealand.

Wills win and overall performance has vaulted him into the championship points lead, but Mark had a self-described worst ever weekend despite leading three of the four races.

Mark made a clean start and passed Jamie Whincup at the opening corner and began to open a gap. Will held fifth off the line and was in a close battle behind Whincup for third. An early safety car came and went and while Will gained one place, it was on the restart after the second safety car where the action began. At the restart Whincup dived Mark at the hairpin and made significant contact which not only dropped the Ford driver to third but would force him to stop with steering damage two laps later. Whincup was later found guilty and penalised for the move. Marks removal promoted Will to third which became second when Whincup spun off. At the ensuing restart he made a decisive pass on leader Fabian Coulthard and began to pull away. The final safety car period was lengthy and reduced the race length allowing Will to collect the win in a slightly shortened race. Mark nursed his broken Falcon home 23rd.

Mark dropped a place off the line but led Will on the opening lap. On lap 12 Mark and Will passed Wills brother Alex with Mark setting about chasing the lead pack. He closed rapidly and quickly passed James Courtney to move into fifth. Unfortunately another tyre delamination forced him to stop for repairs which dropped him a lap down and saw him finish 24th in a horror weekend where his highest finish was 13th despite leading three of the four races. Will passed Courtney and held on for fifth.

Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Qualifying: 2nd 
Race 6: 23rd 
Qualifying: 6th 
Race 7: 24th 
I have never had a weekend like this ever in my career. I dont know how to view it as it is so hard to accept given the car was just so quick. It would be different if we had been slow or there were genuine issues but we had the quickest car out there. The only encouraging part is the speed as without that we wouldve had much to show for the weekend. It is great for the team we got a win and that Will is leading but I need to go away and have a break and ensure that we can use our speed next time out in Perth.

Will Davison - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Qualifying: 5th 
Race 6: 1st 
Qualifying: 9th 
Race 7: 5th 
We have taken good inroads with the car which is the main thing at this early point in the year. We are racing hard and smart and that is proving to be the right thing but the main focus remains improving the car in all areas. It was great to record the first win for the year for the team and Pepsi Maxs first ever win and the fastest car all weekend was that of my team-mate so that is encouraging for everyone. I had four very clean races, a race win and the championship lead and while it was relatively straight forward for me, I think the battle is already heating up.

Tim Edwards FPR Team Principal: 
I am really happy for the whole team that we won today as it has been snatched away on so many occasions already this year so it is great for us and all the Ford fans. It is also a special win as it is Pepsi Maxs first ever victory in V8 Supercars so now we want a few more. Will drove exceptionally well he was smart, quick and clean and he has been rewarded with the points lead. Mark had without doubt the unluckiest weekend of his career. To come away with hardly any points after leading so many laps is hard. Alex and Dave also put in their best weekends of the year so to have all four cars on the pace and three of them recording seasons best performances it has been a very positive weekend.

1) Will Davison Pepsi Max Crew FPR 
2) Shane van Gisbergen Tekno
3) Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Racing 
4) Craig Lowndes Triple Eight
5) Garth Tander HRT 
23) Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR

1) Jason Bright Brad Jones Racing 
2) Garth Tander HRT
3) Jamie Whincup Triple Eight
4) Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Racing
5) Will Davison Pepsi Max Crew FPR 
24) Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR

1) Will Davison Pepsi Max Crew FPR: 697 
2) Jamie Whincup Triple Eight: 681 points
3) Craig Lowndes Triple Eight: 591
11) Mark Winterbottom Pepsi Max Crew FPR: 448

1) Triple Eight: 1197 points
2) Pepsi Max Crew FPR: 1145
3) Brad Jones Racing: 1106

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