FPR scores breakthrough Bathurst victory

Winterbottom and Richards celebrate victory

Winterbottom and Richards celebrate victory

Mark Winterbottom held off arch rival Jamie Whincup to score a long-awaited maiden Bathurst victory for himself and Ford Performance Racing.

A day after re-signing Ford’s factory backing, the FPR crew watched on as Winterbottom survived an audacious outside passing attempt from Whincup on the last lap.

The victory is the third for Winterbottom’s co-driver Steve Richards, who also tasted success in 1998 and 1999.

Craig Lowndes won an equally intense battle for third in the closing stages to finish ahead of Garth Tander and Jason Bright.


Scott Pye, Will Davison, Scott McLaughlin, David Reynolds and Andy Priaulx completed the top 10.

The 161 lap journey was completed in record time, with just two Safety Car periods ensuring that the race record, set in 2010, was broken by 84 seconds.

The race was effectively run in two halves, with Whincup and co-driver Dumbrell dominating much of the early going.

The pair led all but eight of the first 76 laps as the field rattled through their pitstop schedules.

A crash for Greg Murphy on Lap 87 would prove decisive as, with a 20 second lead, the Red Bull team called Dumbrell to pitlane.

With the majority of their rivals staying out, the move put Dumbrell back in the traffic.

Two minor offs for Dumbrell in his final stint helped ensure that Whincup would be behind Winterbottom when the two primary drivers cycled back into their cars as the 100 lap marker approached.

The duo were locked together for the majority of the final three stints but, apart from an attempt at Griffins Bend on the last lap, Whincup proved unable to mount a challenge.

Eventual third place finishers Lowndes and Luff ran off sequence with the two heavy hitters during the first half of the race after completing a short first stint.

As was the case in 2012, Lowndes was simply left with too much to do in his final stints, resulting in a repeat of last year’s third place finish.

Jason Bright proved the biggest hurdle to the late charges of Lowndes and also the Tander/Nick Percat entry.

Bright’s Team BOC Holden ran line astern with the top two at the start of the final fuel load, but faded as the laps wound down.

That set-up a thrilling scrap with Lowndes and Tander, whose pit sequence ensured he entered the final 15 lap sprint with fresh tyres.

The trio swapped position back and forth until Bright’s tyres finally gave out.

Reynolds had briefly made it a four way scrap before being forced to pit for fuel with just two laps to go.

The Bottle-O Ford’s race took a major blow when Murphy crashed. Then running second to Dumbrell, Reynolds found himself spending a lap behind the Safety Car after missing the pit entry.

It was another green car, the Triple Eight-run Xbox Holden of Andy Priaulx and Mattias Ekstrom, that played a starring role in the latter stages.

The wildcard entry led a total of 17 laps between laps 104 and 134 as it ran on an alternate strategy to the leaders.

Although the team later said it always needed a splash of fuel to make it home, Priaulx emerged in front of the leaders when Winterbottom and Whincup made their final stops, raising hopes of a major upset.

The Briton was soon called back to pit road after a lock-up, however, setting the car into its eventual finishing position of 10th.

The Scott Pye/Paul Morris Holden ran the same strategy as the Xbox car and did make it home on fuel, taking a brilliant sixth.

Alexandre Premat meanwhile ran between Ekstrom and Pye during the penultimate stint and too appeared headed for a strong result until a fuel filler malfunction resulted in a black flag and a lengthy pitstop.

Among the others with hard luck stories were Courtney and Murphy, who challenged the seemingly dominant Red Bull and FPR cars in the first half until a mistake from the Kiwi at Reid Park resulted in a heavy accident.

The other Safety Car had been called following a collision between David Russell’s Nissan and a kangaroo on Lap 21.

A gearbox failure for Dean Fiore and Matthew Halliday was the only mechanical-related DNF in an impressive endorsement for the Car of the Future’s reliability.

Several lost time with issues however, including Slade/Thompson (power steering), Wall/Pither (power steering), Caruso/Gaunt (power steering), D’Alberto/Reid (rear suspension) and Mostert/Wood (starter motor).

The V8 Supercars Championship continues in two weeks time with the Armor All Gold Coast 600.

See below for the full race result

1 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford M.Winterbottom/S.Richards Ford Falcon FG 161 06:11:27.93
2 Red Bull Racing Australia J.Whincup/P.Dumbrell Holden Commodore VF 161 06:11:28.41
3 Red Bull Racing Australia C.Lowndes/W.Luff Holden Commodore VF 161 06:11:34.17
4 Holden Racing Team G.Tander/N.Percat Holden Commodore VF 161 06:11:35.03
5 Team BOC J.Bright/A.Jones Holden Commodore VF 161 06:11:42.07
6 Sargent Security Racing S.Pye/P.Morris Holden Commodore VF 161 06:11:48.19
7 Pepsi Max Crew FPR Ford W.Davison/S.Owen Ford Falcon FG 161 06:11:57.20
8 Fujitsu Racing GRM S.McLaughlin/J.Perkins Holden Commodore VF 161 06:12:11.27
9 The Bottle-O FPR Ford D.Reynolds/D.Canto Ford Falcon FG 161 06:12:14.00
10 XBOX ONE Racing A.Priaulx/M.Ekstrom Holden Commodore VF 161 06:12:16.21
11 TEKNO Team VIP Petfoods S.Van Gisbergen/J.Bleekemolen Holden Commodore VF 161 06:12:18.41
12 TEKNO Team Darrell Lea J.Webb/M.Lieb Holden Commodore VF 161 06:12:18.78
13 Jeld-wen FPR Ford A.Davison/J.McIntyre Ford Falcon FG 161 06:12:19.13
14 Irwin Racing L.Holdsworth/C.Baird Mercedes E63 AMG 161 06:12:22.11
15 Wilson Security Racing T.Blanchard/A.Walsh Ford Falcon FG 161 06:12:40.67
16 Lockwood Racing F.Coulthard/L.Youlden Holden Commodore VF 161 06:12:42.06
17 Supercheap Auto Racing R.Ingall/R.Briscoe Holden Commodore VF 161 06:13:03.31
18 Norton Hornets J.Moffat/T.Douglas Nissan Altima 161 06:13:09.67
19 Jack Daniel’s Racing R.Kelly/K.Reindler Nissan Altima 161 06:13:11.59
20 SP Tools Racing M.Engel/S.Johnson Mercedes E63 AMG 160 06:11:32.68
21 Wilson Security Racing C.Mostert/D.Wood Ford Falcon FG 156 06:12:13.18
22 Wilson Security Racing D.Wall/C.Pither Holden Commodore VF 156 06:13:09.07
23 Fujitsu Racing GRM A.Premat/G.Ritter Holden Commodore VF 154 06:11:56.94
24 Team HIFLEX T.D’Alberto/J.Reid Holden Commodore VF 149 06:11:52.96
25 Norton Hornets M.Caruso/D.Gaunt Nissan Altima 147 06:13:33.32
26 Heavy Haulage Australia Racing T.Slade/A.Thompson Mercedes E63 AMG 137 06:11:58.19
DNF Dodo Insurance Racing D.Fiore/M.Halliday Holden Commodore VF 145 05:40:24.63
DNF Holden Racing Team J.Courtney/G.Murphy Holden Commodore VF 85 03:15:17.87
DNF Jack Daniel’s Racing David Russell Nissan Altima 20 48:06.70

See below for the updated championship standings 

1 Jamie Whincup 2423
2 Craig Lowndes 2309
3 Mark Winterbottom 2281
4 Will Davison 2242
5 Fabian Coulthard 2015
6 Jason Bright 1937
7 Garth Tander 1920
8 Shane Van Gisbergen 1914
9 James Courtney 1909
10 Scott McLaughlin 1778
11 Jonathon Webb 1527
12 David Reynolds 1498
13 Alex Davison 1332
14 James Moffat 1311
15 Rick Kelly 1311
16 Tony D’Alberto 1153
17 Alexandre Premat 1127
18 Russell Ingall 1115
19 Chaz Mostert 1102
20 Lee Holdsworth 1001
21 Michael Caruso 959
22 Tim Slade 959
23 David Wall 959
24 Dean Fiore 922
25 Scott Pye 853
26 Todd Kelly 833
27 Tim Blanchard 823
28 Maro Engel 726
29 Paul Dumbrell 576
30 Warren Luff 534
31 Steven Richards 504
32 Jack Perkins 460
33 Steve Owen 450
34 Craig Baird 366
35 Nick Percat 318
36 Luke Youlden 306
37 Andrew Jones 288
38 Jonny Reid 287
39 Jeroen Bleekemolen 282
40 Ryan Briscoe 276
41 Dean Canto 276
42 Marc Lieb 270
43 John McIntyre 252
44 Greg Ritter 228
45 Greg Murphy 222
46 Dale Wood 210
47 Karl Reindler 210
48 Paul Morris 204
49 Chris Pither 174
50 Mattias Ekstrom 156
51 Andy Priaulx 156
52 Taz Douglas 156
53 Daniel Gaunt 150
54 Steven Johnson 150
55 David Russell 144
56 Andrew Thompson 138
57 Ashley Walsh 120
58 Matthew Halliday 102

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