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Hidden Valley V8 Supercars: Mark Winterbottom ends long win drought

Mark Winterbottom, Hidden ValleyMark 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
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Lowndes holds off Winterbottom to win
Whincup leaves mayhem in his wake