New V8 Supercars Championship leader Mark Winterbottom says that he expects all four leading drivers to be remain in contention until the final race of the year at the Sydney Telstra 500.
Winterbottom took the lead of the championship at Sydney Motorsport Park yesterday after taking second place behind TeamVodafone’s Craig Lowndes.
Former leader Jamie Whincup delaminating tyre problem saw him finish a lowly 23rd, enough to bump him back to second in the title, 20 points shy of Winterbottom.
CLICK HERE for Speedcafe.com’s race report, results and championship positions.
Of the 18 races held this year, Ford Performance Racing and TeamVodafone drivers have won every race. The top four are covered by 162 points – just over the value of a race win.
With the all-important endurance races at Sandown and Bathurst on the horizon, Winterbottom says he can see the title being fought down to the wire between the top four.
“At the end of the year there is still going to be four guys fighting for this championship,” he said.
“It’s exciting. Last year there was only two cars, we’ll definitely try and get two cars into that fight at the end of the year.
“If one of us (himself or Davison) are at the top of that end, that will be a bonus.”
With Lowndes on a three-race winning streak, Winterbottom says that he will not discount Whincup.
“I don’t think that Lowndes is a bigger threat than Whincup,” he said.
“Both their cars will be there at the end of the year.
“I’m sure they’ll use each others data to try and improve each other … you can’t just focus on one driver.”
See below for Speedcafe.com’s Sydney Motorsport Park 360 Race Guide.