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Author Topic: Mark Winterbottom wants the lead of the V8 Supercar Championship tomorrow  (Read 544 times)

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Offline CanadianRacingOnline

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Mark Winterbottom wants the lead of the V8 Supercar Championship tomorrow after a dramatic late crash took both Championship leaders out of the first race of the Phillip Island 300.


Winterbottom seized the advantage of an amazing finish when Championship leading team-mate Will Davison was swamped from a safety car restart that ultimately led to a stoush with Tim Slade.


Trading Post Racing’s Davison came off second best when he was pushed onto the slipper verge heading towards a hairpin, spearing straight across the track into the path of TeamVodafone’s Jamie Whincup who bashed straight into the out of control Falcon.


Winterbottom, who got a great jump from the restart, cleared away from the field to win from SP Tools’ Shane Van Gisbergen and Slade, giving Stone Brothers Racing a dual podium behind the Orrcon Steel Falcon.


Stewards were tonight looking into the incident but were not expected to reach a conclusion until tomorrow morning. Regardless Winterbottom (1085) is now in second on the Championship table from Whincup (1095) with Davison (1066) now third.


“I’m probably feeling more gutted at the moment that elated because I would have liked all three cars on the podium,” FPR team boss Tim Edwards said of the incident. “I think it was borderline lunacy but that’s my biased opinion I’m sure.”


Winterbottom made the most of the luck with little sympathy for his rivals.


"I want to lead the title from start to finish. If you lead the title you're in the best spot. I don't care what the others say. 10 points off the lead is a great result from that race,” Winterbottom said.


“Seeing car number one on the side of the road I knew I was going to gain 150 points which made the win a bit nicer. That’s what it’s about this Championship. There’s not much you can do when you have lost the steering and are on the grass.


“I have had my share of bad luck and somewhere along the line it can happen to anyone.”


Van Gisbergen was another to capatalise with his first podium of the year.


“We took a pretty big swing at it in that race. The car came alive during the race so it was great to come out second behind Mark from 11th on the grid,” the young Kiwi said.


While Davison’s fate was unlucky a thought was spared for The Bottle-O Racing David Reynolds who qualified on the front row of the grid and took the early lead of the race. With a podium and possibly a maiden win beckoning he was shattered by a split fuel pipe on the re-fueling rig that ended his day.


The fuel hose was gushing petrol during Reynolds’ pit stop and the team was unable to refill the car. He went back out until he almost ran out of petrol before coming back in to refuel. He dropped more than 20 places in the process.


“He is fast and we are trying to keep him focused because he can be loose. He just needs a little bit of luck and we need to sort out our little issues as well,” Edwards said.


Next in line were Garth Tander, Lee Holdsworth and Rick Kelly at the end of 32 laps. Jonathon Webb was seventh from Jason Bright, Michael Patrizi and Steve Owen.


It was a difficult day for Craig Lowndes, who salvaged 13th place after receiving a drive-through penalty midrace after knocking Jason Bright off the road at Turn 4.


The first of the race’s two Safety Car interventions had come after an incident at MG Corner on the opening lap that left Alexandre Premat’s Fujitsu Holden stranded on the circuit with heavy rear-end damage.


The Phillip Island 300 continues with practice, qualifying and race two tomorrow.


Cole Hitchcock | Media Manager | D +61 7 5630 0315
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