Winterbottom snaps winless streak in Race 9

Sunday 8th May, 2016 - 5:45pm

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Mark Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom snapped a near eight month victory drought by holding on in another thrilling V8 Supercars finish at Barbagallo.

As expected, the 200km Race 9 proved a battle of tyre strategy on the high degradation Perth layout.

Winterbottom and eventual second place finisher Scott McLaughlin ran two-stop strategies, while the bulk of the field opted for three.

Starting third, Winterbottom had slipped back to sixth off the start before the different strategies began to unfold.

Front-row starter Craig Lowndes eventually emerged as the best of those to run three-stop strategies, but found himself stuck behind McLaughlin who overtook the Caltex Holden as the final stint began.

McLaughlin and Lowndes both had tyres that were seven laps newer than Winterbottom’s for the run to the flag, allowing them to rapidly cut into the Ford driver’s margin.

Winterbottom appeared to be dealt a major blow when he lost time as Aaren Russell unlapped himself with five laps to go, but held on to win by 0.3s regardless.

“I thought we were in trouble before the start with a set of tyres short,” said Winterbottom, having used two sets on Saturday while trying to recover from an early off.

“It’s awesome after yesterday, where I drove horribly. I hope that redeemed it.

“I thought Aaren Russell ruined my race there, it cost two seconds, I thought it was over.

“But by the time they got to me they weren’t on new tyres and Scotty was pretty nice to me as well.”

McLaughlin, Lowndes and eventual fourth place finisher Shane van Gisbergen had arrived onto the back of Winterbottom with two laps remaining but could not find a way by.

Rick Kelly and Chaz Mostert were among the front-runners throughout on their way to fifth and sixth respectively.

Garth Tander, James Courtney, Michael Caruso and Will Davison completed the top 10.

Jamie Whincup came home 11th after pitting early at each of his three stops proved costly.

Although initially vaulting him to the front, the six-time champ subsequently had older tyres than his rivals for much of the race and fell down the order.

Lee Holdsworth, Fabian Coulthard and James Moffat were the only drivers to join Winterbottom and McLaughlin on the two-stop strategy, but all finished down the order.

Lowndes has jumped to the top of the championship standings with a 42 point margin over Whincup.

McLaughlin has dropped to third while Winterbottom, who became the eighth winner from nine races, has moved to fourth.

Result: Virgin Australia Supercars Championship Race 9

1 The Bottle-O Racing Team Mark Winterbottom Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:22:22.8550
2 Wilson Security Racing GRM Scott McLaughlin Volvo S60 83 01:22:23.1617
3 TeamVortex Craig Lowndes Holden Commodore VF 83 01:22:23.6339
4 Red Bull Racing Australia Shane Van Gisbergen Holden Commodore VF 83 01:22:24.2332
5 Nissan Motorsport Rick Kelly Nissan Altima 83 01:22:24.5719
6 Supercheap Auto Racing Chaz Mostert Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:22:28.0176
7 Holden Racing Team Garth Tander Holden Commodore VF 83 01:22:28.2851
8 Holden Racing Team James Courtney Holden Commodore VF 83 01:22:29.3123
9 Nissan Motorsport Michael Caruso Nissan Altima 83 01:22:29.9848
10 Team Darrell Lea STIX Will Davison Holden Commodore VF 83 01:22:32.6087
11 Red Bull Racing Australia Jamie Whincup Holden Commodore VF 83 01:22:40.9470
12 Preston Hire Racing Lee Holdsworth Holden Commodore VF 83 01:22:41.2196
13 Team BOC Jason Bright Holden Commodore VF 83 01:22:46.0786
14 Super Black Racing Chris Pither Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:22:46.6303
15 DJR Team Penske Fabian Coulthard Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:22:48.5162
16 Freightliner Racing Tim Slade Holden Commodore VF 83 01:22:50.4992
17 Wilson Security Racing GRM James Moffat Volvo S60 83 01:22:52.9899
18 ABRO/Repair Management Aust Nick Percat Holden Commodore VF 83 01:23:00.4501
19 DJR Team Penske Scott Pye Ford Falcon FG/X 83 01:23:02.2693
20 GB Galvanizing Racing Dale Wood Nissan Altima 83 01:23:05.7926
21 Erebus Motorsport Penrite David Reynolds Holden Commodore VF 83 01:23:06.7519
22 Team Cooldrive Tim Blanchard Holden Commodore VF 83 01:23:07.4353
23 carsales Racing Todd Kelly Nissan Altima 83 01:23:08.8178
24 Plus Fitness Racing Aaren Russell Holden Commodore VF 83 01:23:21.7463
25 ABRO/Repair Management Aust Andre Heimgartner Holden Commodore VF 82 01:22:55.2303
26 Monster Energy Racing Cameron Waters Ford Falcon FG/X 82 01:23:16.5456

Championship Standings

1 Craig Lowndes 894
2 Jamie Whincup 852
3 Scott McLaughlin 846
4 Mark Winterbottom 816
5 Shane Van Gisbergen 803
6 Will Davison 756
7 Garth Tander 709
8 James Courtney 678
9 Rick Kelly 621
10 Michael Caruso 615
11 Todd Kelly 571
12 Chaz Mostert 563
13 Jason Bright 540
14 Tim Slade 519
15 Fabian Coulthard 511
16 Scott Pye 499
17 David Reynolds 496
18 Lee Holdsworth 480
19 James Moffat 471
20 Nick Percat 459
21 Cameron Waters 445
22 Tim Blanchard 332
23 Chris Pither 313
24 Dale Wood 313
25 Andre Heimgartner 266
26 Aaren Russell 231

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