Winterbottom wins tyre battle in Darwin finale

Mark Winterbottom extended his points lead with victory in Race 19

Mark Winterbottom extended his points lead with victory in Race 19

Mark Winterbottom held off Shane van Gisbergen in a thrilling finish to the Skycity Triple Crown in Darwin.

As expected the 200km race was dominated by tyre strategy.

Despite just two sets of soft tyres being allocated for the race, Winterbottom was one of several to run all three stints on the soft compound.

Van Gisbergen and eventual third place finisher Jamie Whincup ran the more conventional hard-soft-soft option, ensuring they were quicker than the Ford driver for much of the last stint.

Van Gisbergen overtook Whincup with six laps remaining and closed to the bumper of Winterbottom on the last corner, but did not have enough to steal the win.

“That’s an incredible race, it’s great to have those different format races,” said Winterbottom afterward.

“The car felt great initially on the softs, but we had to re-use a set bring it home.

“Shane was coming but that was awesome. I’m so happy we won; it’s a good way to bounce back from yesterday.

“It was about turning today into something special. I reckon that was one of the best wins I’ve had with this team.”

David Reynolds and James Courtney followed Winterbottom’s strategy to take fourth and fifth respectively, while Garth Tander, James Moffat, Scott McLaughlin, Rick Kelly and Russell Ingall completed the top 10.

The result came despite a Safety Car negating much of Winterbottom’s early advantage over those that started on the hard tyres.

Pole-sitter Craig Lowndes finished just 17th after copping a puncture in mid-race contact with Winterbottom’s team-mate Chaz Mostert.

The Safety Car had been required when Robert Dahlgren suffered a stuck throttle in his Volvo.

The Swede was able to spin the car to a stop in the Turn 5 run-off, swiping the rear wing from his S60 against the tyre wall in the process.

Todd Kelly joined Dahlgren on the retirements list after his right-rear suspension was damaged in a three-wide squeeze with Lee Holdsworth and David Wall at the Turn 6 hairpin.

Tim Slade, Jason Bright, Jack Perkins, Fabian Coulthard and Nick Percat finished 19th through 22nd after suffering from a variety of pit issues.

Winterbottom now leads the standings by 161 points over Lowndes heading to the Castrol Townsville 500 in two weeks time.

Race 19 Results

1 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG 69 1:27:20.3007
2 Team Tekno VIP Petfoods Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 69 1:27:20.8353
3 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 69 1:27:25.7906
4 The Bottle-O Racing Team David Reynolds Ford Falcon FG 69 1:27:31.1711
5 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 69 1:27:35.1254
6 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 69 1:27:37.6543
7 Norton Hornets James Moffat Nissan Altima 69 1:27:38.3319
8 Valvoline Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 69 1:27:47.4749
9 Jack Daniel’s Racing Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 69 1:27:50.6592
10 Repair Management Aust Racing Russell Ingall Holden Commodore VF 69 1:27:54.7553
11 Team Advam/GB Dale Wood Holden Commodore VF 69 1:27:55.6385
12 Erebus Motorsport V8 Lee Holdsworth Mercedes E63 AMG 69 1:27:59.2714
13 Norton Hornets Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 69 1:27:59.9817
14 Wilson Security Racing Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG 69 1:28:01.1253
15 Ford Pepsi Max Crew Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG 69 1:28:08.5271
16 Erebus Motorsport V8 Will Davison Mercedes E63 AMG 69 1:28:10.4650
17 Red Bull Racing Australia Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 69 1:28:10.9733
18 Wilson Security Racing David Wall Ford Falcon FG 69 1:28:19.0649
19 Supercheap Auto Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 69 1:28:26.8042
20 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 68 1:28:29.6062
21 Team JELD-WEN Jack Perkins Ford Falcon FG 67 1:27:28.2996
22 Lockwood Racing Fabian Coulthard Holden Commodore VF 67 1:27:29.6130
22 Walkinshaw Racing Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 65 1:27:36.9138
DNF Jack Daniel’s Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 35   46:03.8638
DNF Valvoline Racing GRM Robert Dahlgren Volvo S60 22   28:08.7370

 Championship Points after Race 19 

1 Mark Winterbottom 1451
2 Craig Lowndes 1290
3 Jamie Whincup 1265
4 Fabian Coulthard 1204
5 James Courtney 1120
6 Shane van Gisbergen 1111
7 Scott McLaughlin 1045
8 David Reynolds 952
9 Chaz Mostert 914
10 Jason Bright 881
11 Garth Tander 853
12 Lee Holdsworth 810
13 Michael Caruso 809
14 James Moffat 770
15 Will Davison 768
16 Tim Slade 750
17 Rick Kelly 748
18 Russell Ingall 746
19 Scott Pye 718
20 David Wall 634
21 Dale Wood 609
22 Jack Perkins 589
23 Nick Percat 577
24 Todd Kelly 516
25 Robert Dahlgren 355



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