Mark Winterbottom has taken Ford’s first V8 Supercars race win for six months in a Winton finale rocked by pitlane penalties.
Winterbottom’s two biggest threats in the 200km race, Scott McLaughlin and Fabian Coulthard, both saw their efforts tempered by pitlane speeding penalties.
McLaughlin led the opening 20 laps from pole before the superior tyre life of the Ford saw the positions reversed.
The pair pitted together shortly after, where McLaughlin’s infringement would occur.
Winterbottom was then caught by Coulthard throughout the middle stint before they in turn pitted together for their second stops.
With less fuel left to drop, Winterbottom rejoined three seconds ahead, and then found himself managing a healthy gap back to Courtney once Coulthard served his penalty.
Winterbottom was almost 10 seconds to the good at the end of the 67 laps, which ran without a single Safety Car period.
“That’s awesome to have a pretty good weekend and to cap it off with that I thank my team,” said Winterbottom.
“They did an incredible job. Our tyre life was probably not as strong today as yesterday but we had really good pace in qualifying. Sort of changed our car a bit.
“That’s awesome and it’s awesome to see all the blue Ford blue flags. It’s been a little bit of a hard start, but it’s hopefully the start of many. We’ll try and keep coming.”
Tim Slade rounded out the podium, his first for Walkinshaw Racing, despite a pitlane drama of his own.
The Supercheap team was fined $3,000 and deducted 30 Teams’ Championship points mid-race after a wheel rolled down pitlane during the car’s first stop.
Jason Bright was fourth after surviving an early bump with team-mate Dale Wood, whose car eventually went to the garage with engine problems.
David Reynolds and Chaz Mostert added to FPR’s positive day in fifth and sixth respectively, while Craig Lowndes, Michael Caruso, James Moffat and Jamie Whincup completed the top 10.
Coulthard and McLaughlin recovered to just 11th and 16th after their penalties.
Shane van Gisbergen was 12th after switching to a three-stop strategy while struggling for speed in the early laps.
The Tekno Holden slid from its second place starting position to 18th before pitting for the first time on just the seventh lap.
The Kiwi provided much of the entertainment in an otherwise sedate final 25 laps, charging back through from 18th.
Winterbottom now sits second to Lowndes in the championship standings after his victory.
See below results for Race 9
|1||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG|
|2||James Courtney||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF|
|3||Tim Slade||Supercheap Auto Racing||Holden Commodore VF|
|4||Jason Bright||Team BOC||Holden Commodore VF|
|5||David Reynolds||The Bottle-O Racing Team||Ford Falcon FG|
|6||Chaz Mostert||Ford Pepsi Max Crew||Ford Falcon FG|
|7||Craig Lowndes||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF|
|8||Michael Caruso||Norton Hornets||Nissan Altima|
|9||James Moffat||Norton Hornets||Nissan Altima|
|10||Jamie Whincup||Red Bull Racing Australia||Holden Commodore VF|
|11||Fabian Coulthard||Lockwood Racing||Holden Commodore VF|
|12||Shane Van Gisbergen||Team Tekno VIP Petfoods||Holden Commodore VF|
|13||Todd Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Nissan Altima|
|14||Rick Kelly||Jack Daniel’s Racing||Nissan Altima|
|15||Lee Holdsworth||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG|
|16||Scott McLaughlin||Valvoline Racing GRM||Volvo S60|
|17||Nick Percat||Walkinshaw Racing||Holden Commodore VF|
|18||Will Davison||Erebus Motorsport V8||Mercedes E63 AMG|
|19||Scott Pye||Wilson Security Racing||Ford Falcon FG|
|20||Russell Ingall||Repair Management Aust Racing||Holden Commodore VF|
|21||Jack Perkins||Team JELD-WEN||Ford Falcon FG|
|22||David Wall||Wilson Security Racing||Ford Falcon FG|
|23||Garth Tander||Holden Racing Team||Holden Commodore VF|
|24||Robert Dahlgren||Valvoline Racing GRM||Volvo S60|
|25||Dale Wood||Team Advam/GB||Holden Commodore VF|
|6||Shane Van Gisbergen||549|