Q&A: Winterbottom, Richards on Bathurst victory

Speedcafe.com

Sunday 13th October, 2013 - 8:23pm

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Winterbottom and Richards with the Peter Brock Trophy

Winterbottom and Richards with the Peter Brock Trophy

QUESTION: Mark, you’ve finally done what you’ve been trying to do all these years…

MARK WINTERBOTTOM: Yeah, that’s amazing, I’ve been trying so hard for 10 years to win this race. I first came to Bathurst when I was four years old and I’ve always just wanted to hold the trophy at some stage.

So to finally win it and the battle at the end… to do it with Richo and to do it with FPR is just amazing, I’m speechless almost.

It’s so good to hold that trophy and the reception you get on the podium is just ridiculous. I’m sure it won’t sink in until later.

The whole team, the way we worked hard, we’ve been written off a few times with differernt things, but what a way to bounce back, it’s amazing.

QUESTION: Can you take us through the last 20 laps? Jamie was all over you and on the last lap he had a go. What was going through your mind?

WINTERBOTTOM: I was hoping he’d try and go the outside at Turn 2. I needed a bit of a buffer because at The Chase he was quite strong and that headwind gave him a tow every lap.

He went around the outside but it goes off-camber and he just couldn’t hold it. After that it was good.

I wasn’t comfortable with the car all day so I just wanted to not make mistakes and just tried to battle on. It was good to get that last little gap at the end.

I came down the main straight and a bloke ran on the track with a Ford flag, so I had to go around him! But I knew we had won Bathurst down that straight (Conrod); that was awesome.

Winterbottom leads Whincup and Bright in the final stint

Winterbottom leads Whincup and Bright in the final stint

QUESTION: Richo, what’s it like? You’re a three-time winner?

STEVEN RICHARDS: It’s been so long since the second one I can’t remember it!

I couldn’t be happier to win it with Frosty. In terms of the three, this was the best. I know the trials and the tribulations and also the great success that FPR has had. This caps it, it chalks the big one off the board so it means a lot.

QUESTION: How hard were the last 20 laps for you?

RICHARDS: A lot harder for me than for him, that’s for sure!

QUESTION: Mark, have you ever been more under pressure than that?

WINTERBOTTOM: No. It’s such a big prize at stake. I felt under pressure because I was fighting the car at times. Richo was probably more comfortable in it than I was all day.

That last lap there was definitely a lot going on. There are points in your whole career, whether it be in go-karts getting a scholarship from Ford to do Formula Ford, there have been some big moments, but nothing anywhere near that.

I kept seeing the screen and Richo was on screen so he was making me nervous too! At The Chase there is a big TV there and they kept panning to him. His nerves were my nerves. It was nail-bitting.

QUESTION: There has been a lot of talk about FPR’s trials and tribulations with wheel nuts and all the rest of it. There were probably a lot of people wondering when it would go wrong…

WINTERBOTTOM: Like Richo said, to do it with this team and with him… to hear the FPR chant on the podium, I’ve never heard that before.

It was perfect timing with the Ford announcement, there have been so many things that have gone on this weekend and this just sort of caps it off.

We’ve been kicked a bit but we’ve worked hard. The guys at the workshop don’t just cop it on the chin, they work hard. They bought 200 new wheel-nuts. We had an engineer group working purely on wheel nuts, so you can imagine how happy they’re going to be when we get back.

We didn’t have any issues all day, so we’ve proven that we can do it.

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