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V8 SUPERCAR NEWS 

Mark Winterbottom gives Ford a win in the non-championship qualifying race at Albert Park

Mark Winterbottom, V8s, 2012Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom took victory in the qualifying race that kicked off V8 Supercars' non-championship event on the Australian Grand Prix support bill in Melbourne.

In an unusual rules twist for this race, the three cars running at the tail of the field on each lap from laps three to eight had to retire to leave a 10-car shoot-out over the final three laps of the event, which set the grid for race two later today.

Shane van Gisbergen thrust his Stone Brothers Ford past front row men Jamie Whincup (Triple Eight Holden) and Winterbottom into the first corner, but both would pass him before the opening lap was over, with Winterbottom emerging in the lead.

A lap two tangle between Michael Patrizi and Steve Owen, which also collected Jason Bright, caused a three-lap safety car period, after which Winterbottom and Whincup broke away from the field, with the reigning champion pressuring the Ford man to the flag, but to no avail.

Van Gisbergen lost third to Holden Racing Team's Garth Tander just before the safety car, but regained it when Tander slid off the road and fell to eighth three laps from the end.

In a strong start to the weekend for FPR, Winterbottom's stablemates Will Davison and David Reynolds completed the top five, ahead of Craig Lowndes in the second Triple Eight car, Rick Kelly (Kelly Holden) and Tander.

Results - 11 laps:

Pos  Driver               Team/Car                 Time/Gap
 1.  Mark Winterbottom    FPR Ford              28m23.6468s
 2.  Jamie Whincup        Triple 8 Holden         + 0.4499s
 3.  Shane van Gisbergen  Stone Brothers Ford     + 3.8617s
 4.  Will Davison         FPR Ford                + 4.6949s
 5.  David Reynolds       Rod Nash/FPR Ford       + 6.2103s
 6.  Craig Lowndes        Triple 8 Holden         + 6.5978s
 7.  Rick Kelly           Kelly Holden            + 9.3275s
 8.  Garth Tander         HRT Holden              + 9.6263s
 9.  Tony D'Alberto       D'Alberto Ford         + 11.0945s
10.  Todd Kelly           Kelly Holden           + 11.4913s

Did not finish:

     Michael Caruso       Garry Rogers Holden        8 laps
     Lee Holdsworth       Stone Brothers Ford        8 laps
     Greg Murphy          Kelly Holden               8 laps
     Tim Slade            Rosenberg/SBR Ford         7 laps
     James Courtney       HRT Holden                 7 laps
     Alexandre Premat     Garry Rogers Holden        7 laps
     Russell Ingall       Walkinshaw Holden          6 laps
     Fabian Coulthard     Brad Jones Holden          6 laps
     Steven Johnson       Dick Johnson Ford          6 laps
     Steve Owen           Dick Johnson Ford          5 laps
     Karl Reindler        Kelly Holden               5 laps
     Taz Douglas          Dumbrell Holden            5 laps
     Dean Fiore           Triple F Ford              4 laps
     James Moffat         Dick Johnson Ford          4 laps
     Jonathon Webb        Tekno Holden               4 laps
     David Wall           Britek/BJR Holden          3 laps
     Michael Patrizi      Tekno Holden                1 lap
     Jason Bright         Brad Jones Holden           1 lap
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