Epic battle to end epic season
Frosty finishes 6th
Ford Pepsi Max Crew finished with both of its drivers separated by a mere six points in the final standings following an intense battle between Will and Alex Davison which ultimately decided third and fourth for the year on the final lap of 2013.
Heading into the weekend Mark was comfortably ahead of Will but his Saturday DNF coupled with a solid drive for Will swapped the positions on Saturday night.
Late in the race Winterbottom held a virtual three point lead in the race for the final championship podium place only for Will to make a lunge past brother Alex which gained him enough points to leapfrog the Bathurst winner by just three points.
In the race itself Mark ran second for much of the opening segment before going on to finish fifth.
His chance at winning was dashed in the middle of the race due to a slow train of cars ahead awaiting the safety cars deployment following an on-track incident.
After the final safety car period of the race Will and Alex engaged in a tight battle for seventh after Alex made the most of an alternate strategy.
The pair ran closely in the closing laps with Will needing to pass his brother to secure third overall from Mark.
Alex was unaware of the consequence of losing the position on the final lap but Will made a firm but fair move to claim the final spot on the championship podium and at his three-year tenure at the team on a high.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
To be honest third or fourth overall doesnt really bother me as neither spot ends with me getting the prize I was aiming for. I went hard yesterday and that cost me but Ive finished third for the last three years so I did all I could to win the championship. Overall we had a good year filled with ups and downs and while it was a pretty eventful weekend, I really just wanted to give my engineer James (Small) a fitting send off before he moved overseas to NASCAR. We didnt quite do that but we won Bathurst together so the year has been far from a bad one.
Will Davison - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Third overall was realistically all that was possible this weekend. It has been tough but all I did was consolidate my position this weekend and we gained the benefit of doing just that. I am obviously quite satisfied right now but Frosty and I have fought hard for the last three years and he is a quality team-mate so it has been good racing so close together. I have to thank FPR for a great three years and for me it is now time to look to the future.
Tim Edwards FPR Team Principal:
Mark and Will were in and around the front for most of the race and while Marks chance at fighting for the win evaporated under the safety car he did all he could in the circumstances. Will then had a big battle with his brother which had a bearing on the final championship spots. He eventually prevailed and on behalf of everyone here we thank him for three seasons of great racing.
RACE 36 RESULTS:
1) Shane van Gisbergen Tekno
2) Jason Bright Brad Jones Racing
3) Jamie Whincup Triple Eight
4) David Reynolds The Bottle-O Racing Team
5) Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew
7) Will Davison Ford Pepsi Max Crew
FINAL DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Jamie Whincup Triple Eight: 3094 points
2) Craig Lowndes Triple Eight: 2966
3) Will Davison Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 2799
4) Mark Winterbottom Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 2793
5) Shane van Gisbergen Tekno: 2508
FINAL TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Triple Eight: 6100 points
2) Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 5617
3) Brad Jones Racing: 4927