Winterbottom wins as championship tightens
Mark Winterbottom scored a rare win on home soil for Ford Performance Racing in Race 26 as a crash involving Jamie Whincup tightened the title battle.
Winterbottom, who had not previously won at Winton, shot ahead of front-row starters Jason Bright and Tony D’Alberto to lead into the first corner.
The real drama, however, unfolded behind, with Alexandre Premat causing a multi-car accident as he rejoined from an off at Turn 2.
The Red Bull Holden of points leader Jamie Whincup took a heavy front-end hit, eventually resulting in a failure to finish.
Others involved included Russell Ingall, Alex Davison, Garth Tander and Michael Caruso.
Upon the restart, Winterbottom soon built a two second advantage over Bright, before the Team BOC Holden began to claw it back.
The pair eventually crossed the line 0.4s apart, with Bright having proven quick enough to catch but not pass his rival.
James Courtney got the better of D’Alberto for third with eight of the 34 laps remaining after an extended battle.
The latter was able to hold out Shane van Gisbergen and David Reynolds in the closing laps to score a career best result.
Will Davison, Fabian Coulthard, Scott McLaughlin and David Wall completed the top 10.
Saturday winner James Moffat benefited from the opening lap carnage and solid race pace to climb from 25th on the grid to 11th.
A 12th place for Craig Lowndes ensures that Whincup’s lead over his team-mate has shrunk to 55 points.
FPR duo Winterbottom and Will Davison are just seven and 24 points further adrift respectively.
See below for the full Race 26 result
|1||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG||34||50:25.52|
|2||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||34||50:25.95|
|3||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||34||50:31.79|
|4||Team HIFLEX||Tony D’Alberto||Holden Commodore VF||34||50:36.79|
|5||TEKNO Team VIP||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||34||50:37.29|
|6||The Bottle-O FPR Ford||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG||34||50:37.67|
|7||Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford||Will Davison||Ford Falcon FG||34||50:43.32|
|8||Lockwood Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||34||50:43.73|
|9||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Holden Commodore VF||34||50:48.56|
|10||Wilson Security Racing||David Wall||Holden Commodore VF||34||50:48.81|
|11||Norton 360 Racing||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||34||50:49.31|
|12||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||34||50:56.01|
|13||Wilson Security Racing||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG||34||50:59.70|
|14||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||34||51:00.07|
|15||ekol Racing||Scott Pye||Holden Commodore VF||34||51:00.52|
|16||Dodo Insurance Racing||Dean Fiore||Holden Commodore VF||34||51:00.79|
|17||SP Tools Racing||Maro Engel||Mercedes E63 AMG||34||51:01.21|
|18||Jeld-wen FPR Ford||Alex Davison||Ford Falcon FG||34||51:05.75|
|19||Heavy Haulage Australia Racing||Tim Slade||Mercedes E63 AMG||34||51:06.10|
|20||Irwin Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Mercedes E63 AMG||34||51:10.07|
|21||Wilson Security Racing||Tim Blanchard||Ford Falcon FG||34||51:11.96|
|22||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||34||51:12.52|
|23||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||29||51:14.02|
|24||Tekno Autosports||Jonathon Webb||Holden Commodore VF||27||50:29.28|
|DNF||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||20||39:57.43|
|DNF||Norton 360 Racing||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||6||35:36.40|
|DNF||Supercheap Auto Racing||Russell Ingall||Holden Commodore VF|
|DNF||Fujitsu Racing GRM||Alexandre Premat||Holden Commodore VF|