Winterbottom completes Prodrive domination
Mark Winterbottom held off Fabian Coulthard to win Race 12 and hand Prodrive a unique record at the NP300 Navara Winton Super Sprint.
Winterbottom’s success saw Prodrive become the first team to sweep all of the Dunlop Series and V8 Supercars Championship poles and races over a weekend.
The 33-year-old had to endure a 31 lap stint to the chequered flag on soft tyres after a mid-race Safety Car triggered by a crash for team-mate and race leader Chaz Mostert.
Coulthard stalked Winterbottom for much of the stint before falling away in the closing laps, while Craig Lowndes, Michael Caruso and Garth Tander completed the top five.
“I was struggling in those last 10 laps, the tyres were gone and Fabs had a big push,” said Winterbottom, who took the championship lead with the win.
“I tried to save the tyre and it came back, which was surprising. It’s an awesome result.”
Lowndes had been one of just four drivers to start on softs, shooting from eighth on the grid to the lead in the opening two laps.
Mostert then wrestled the place back during a spirited battle while both ran hards in the second stint, before spinning out of the lead at Turn 4 at the halfway mark.
That subsequent Safety Car sent the entire field – bar a radio deficient Will Davison – to the pits for their second stops, where soft tyres were bolted onto all cars.
Lowndes lined up for the restart ahead of Winterbottom and Coulthard, but could not fend off the duo for long on his soft rubber, which had already run 10 laps at the start.
Caruso’s Nissan showed strong tyre life as the #23 Altima cut through from 10th at the restart to an eventual fourth.
Tander’s fifth place came after joining team-mates James Courtney and Tim Slade on starting with the soft rubber to gain early track position.
David Reynolds scored a solid sixth ahead of Courtney and Scott Pye, who recorded DJR Team Penske’s best result of the season to date in eighth.
Scott McLaughlin and Jamie Whincup had quiet races to round out the top 10.
Eleventh place finisher Rick Kelly was arguably the biggest benefactor of the mid-race Safety Car having run last following a delay in his first pitstop.
Shane van Gisbergen and Davison were clear losers in the shake-up, eventually finishing at the back of the pack.
The Kiwi made a third stop shortly after the full course yellow, while Davison was swamped when restarting in the lead on used hards ahead of his final trip to pitlane.
Result: V8 Supercars Championship Race 12, Winton
|1||Pepsi Max Crew||Mark Winterbottom||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:40:41.5755|
|2||Freightliner Racing||Fabian Coulthard||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:40:43.4735|
|3||Red Bull Racing Australia||Craig Lowndes||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:40:47.3995|
|4||Nissan Motorsport||Michael Caruso||Nissan Altima||67||01:40:59.2480|
|5||Holden Racing Team||Garth Tander||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:04.2462|
|6||The Bottle-O Racing Team||David Reynolds||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:41:05.6982|
|7||Holden Racing Team||James Courtney||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:06.0630|
|8||DJR Team Penske||Scott Pye||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:41:07.8010|
|9||Wilson Security Racing GRM||Scott McLaughlin||Volvo S60||67||01:41:11.3913|
|10||Red Bull Racing Australia||Jamie Whincup||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:12.5134|
|11||Nissan Motorsport||Rick Kelly||Nissan Altima||67||01:41:15.1256|
|12||Nissan Motorsport||Todd Kelly||Nissan Altima||67||01:41:15.2183|
|13||Team BOC||Jason Bright||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:18.8384|
|14||Supercheap Auto Racing||Tim Slade||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:29.7198|
|15||Walkinshaw Racing||Lee Holdsworth||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:31.2413|
|16||Repair Management Aust Racing||Nick Percat||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:34.6631|
|17||Super Black Racing||Andre Heimgartner||Ford Falcon FG/X||67||01:41:34.7949|
|18||Wilson Security Racing GRM||David Wall||Volvo S60||67||01:41:35.2998|
|19||Nissan Motorsport||James Moffat||Nissan Altima||67||01:41:35.9013|
|20||Team Cooldrive||Tim Blanchard||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:38.4629|
|21||GB Galvanizing Racing||Dale Wood||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:41.5777|
|22||Erebus Motorsport V8||Ashley Walsh||Mercedes E63 AMG||67||01:41:49.4449|
|23||Team Darrell Lea STIX||Shane Van Gisbergen||Holden Commodore VF||67||01:41:51.7038|
|24||Erebus Motorsport V8||Will Davison||Mercedes E63 AMG||67||01:42:08.2445|
|25||Pepsi Max Crew||Chaz Mostert||Ford Falcon FG/X||63||01:41:39.4567|
|7||Shane Van Gisbergen||731|