13 October 2013
Frosty wins in an epic race
Ford Performance Racing has broken its Bathurst drought with a stunning win for Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards, with Winterbottom holding his nerve to take the biggest victory in the teams history.
The pair was in the lead group all day and a decisive final pit stop which saw Winterbottom emerge just metres ahead of chief rival Jamie Whincup proved the difference in the end.
The pair was never more than one second apart for the final third of the race with Winterbottom resisting a last-lap lunge from Whincup to claim his and the teams maiden victory at Mount Panorama.
Will Davison and Steve Owen finished seventh after battling a mishandling car for the latter half of the race, while David Reynolds and Dean Canto were denied a top five finish after being forced to pit in the final laps for a splash of fuel while battling for the final podium place.
They recovered to ninth with Alex Davison and John McIntyre a credible 13th after starting 26th and leading the race for a period.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Today was just unbelievable. The way the race unfolded and to win it the way we did and alongside Richo just makes it that more special. Doing it with this team and Ford is a reward for a lot of people for many years of hard work. The response on the podium was just ridiculous to see all those fans and the sea of blue Ford flags, to hear them chanting FPR was something I will never forget. The team has been written off a few times but today was the ultimate way to bounce back and prove our doubters wrong. The final few laps were incredibly close and on the last lap I knew if I could hold the inside line at turn two I would be ok. Then coming down Conrod Straight I knew we had won the race, I knew it was ours so that was a really sweet moment. I really cant say enough about Steve and his effort today. He was happier in the car than me today and drove incredibly well. To win the Peter Brock Trophy with him and FPR after so many years of trying is the best thing ever.
Steven Richards - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
In terms of my three wins at Bathurst this is the best. I know the trials and tribulations this team has had so this is the best and a real reward for everyone. It was incredibly hard to watch Mark drive those final 40 laps and I was definitely more nervous than he was driving the car, but to be on the wall with the team celebrating was a very special moment. Ive been driving the car the two other times Ive won so it was nice to see how the team experiences a win. We didnt have any issues all day and our pit stops were perfect and in the end that made the difference. Ford and FPR deserve this so much and it is amazing to be part of it.
Tim Edwards FPR Team Principal:
I dont know where to start. Today is without doubt the greatest day in our teams history. Winning at Bathurst has been the biggest thing on our list to tick off since we started 11 years ago. Everyone knows our history at this race so to win in the manner we did just makes it that much sweeter. Mark and Steve were faultless, the pit stops were faultless and our strategy gave us track position at the right times in the closing laps so to come here and execute our plan to the letter all day is very satisfying. This is for all our loyal fans that have stuck by us over the years.