Winterbottom wins as championship tightens

Mark Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom

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


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