Hidden Valley V8 Supercars: Mark Winterbottom ends long win drought
|By Scott Mitchell||Sunday, June 16th 2013, 04:53 GMT|
Mark Winterbottom bounced back from a disappointing first V8 Supercars race at Hidden Valley to claim his first victory for more than a year in the second.
The Ford Performance Racing driver's last success came at Phillip Island in May last year, but he drove a faultless race to head home polesitter James Courtney and a charging Craig Lowndes.
Courtney made a great start to lead from Winterbottom, who had to fend off FPR team-mate Will Davison after a sluggish getaway. Unlike the first encounter, the rest of the field navigated the first lap without incident.
Having held second, Winterbottom began to harry Courtney's Holden for the lead, moving to the head of the pack on lap six. As he worked on building his advantage, Davison passed Courtney for second on lap 10.
The Triple 8 Holdens had quiet starts to the race, race one winner Jamie Whincup holding station from fifth on the grid with Lowndes struggling to make headway from 10th.
They were the first of the frontrunners to make their stops - and the strategy worked perfectly for Lowndes.
First, he passed the late-stopping trio of Fabian Coulthard, Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander while they were still in the pits. They would be left to rue their own strategy call as they came home seventh, eighth and ninth. He then set about passing David Reynolds for sixth.
By the time Lowndes joined the podium battle, Winterbottom had established a four-second lead, but having passed his team-mate for fourth, the lead Red Bull-backed Holden would not be denied a rostrum finish.
Davison was unable to hold on in the closing stages, visibly struggling with his tyres, dropping from second to fourth in a matter of seconds as first Courtney passed into Turn 1 and then Lowndes outbraked him into Turn 5. Despite his struggles, he held off Whincup for fifth.
Lowndes was all over Courtney on the final tour but could not force his way past - the pair surviving a brief moment where Lowndes outbraked himself and nudged the back of Courtney's car.
Further down the order, different tyre strategies had briefly allowed Dean Fiore and Scott McLaughlin to star. Both drivers temporarily ran at the front of the field as Fiore - from 17th - started on softs and McLaughlin was the first to switch.
The pair eventually tumbled down the order as the race progressed; Fiore finishing 19th and McLaughlin 27th.
Results - 35 laps Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Mark Winterbottom FPR Ford 42m28.7456s 2. James Courtney HRT Holden + 6.0119s 3. Craig Lowndes Triple 8 Holden + 6.2421s 4. Will Davison FPR Ford + 7.5922s 5. Jamie Whincup Triple 8 Holden + 7.9243s 6. Jonathon Webb Tekno Holden + 9.9060s 7. Fabian Coulthard Brad Jones Holden + 15.2462s 8. Shane van Gisbergen Tekno Holden + 15.8637s 9. Garth Tander HRT Holden + 21.2474s 10. David Reynolds Rod Nash/FPR Ford + 25.5241s 11. Tim Slade Rosenberg/Erebus Mercedes + 26.1153s 12. Todd Kelly Nissan + 26.6694s 13. Jason Bright Brad Jones Holden + 28.5117s 14. David Wall Britek/BJR Holden + 29.4134s 15. Alexandre Premat GRM Holden + 31.0533s 16. Lee Holdsworth Erebus Mercedes + 31.2452s 17. Chaz Mostert Dick Johnson Ford + 34.9577s 18. Tony D'Alberto D'Alberto Holden + 38.1337s 19. Dean Fiore Dumbrell Holden + 38.1825s 20. Alex Davison Schwerkolt/FPR Ford + 39.5031s 21. Michael Caruso Nissan + 44.2616s 22. Maro Engel Erebus Mercedes + 44.9906s 23. James Moffat Nissan + 45.1544s 24. Tim Blanchard Dick Johnson Ford + 49.9953s 25. Rick Kelly Nissan + 50.2008s 26. Russell Ingall Walkinshaw/HRT Holden + 51.6444s 27. Scott McLaughlin GRM Holden + 55.2760s 28. Scott Pye Dumbrell Holden + 1 lap