Mark Winterbottom wins his first V8 Supercars championship

Mark Winterbottom clinched his first V8 Supercars championship in the penultimate race of the season at Sydney's Olympic Park

Mark Winterbottom wins his first V8 Supercars championship

The Prodrive Ford driver admitted to being in tears as he crossed the line to finish third, which was enough to make sure Craig Lowndes can't overhaul him in the season finale on Sunday.

"I'm speechless to be honest, it hasn't really sunk in," said Winterbottom, who has raced in the series since 2004.

"To win this, I've been trying for so many years and I've stayed at the one team for such a long time as well.

"To do it and see the crew's reaction when you come in, it's years of work, the drama is crazy and to win just one is fantastic.

"It's awesome to be a part of V8 Supercars history. I'm numb.

"We've had promise, and finally we've got the number one on the door."

The championship also marks Prodrive's first V8 Supercars title.

Team principal Tim Edwards added: "It's been 10 years in the making and a lot of hard work, a lot of tears, a lot of highs and lows and to finally get it done is just a huge sense of relief.

"I don't think I took a breath for the last 30 minutes of that race.

"It's unbelievable, I'm just so proud of everybody. It's been a lot of hard work by a lot of people."

Six-time champion Jamie Whincup won the race, but he did not want any of the spotlight taken away from the new champion.

"Plenty of critics said Mark couldn't do it, but I'll happily hand over the number one tomorrow afternoon," said Whincup.

"The day's about Mark, I don't want to take any shine off him. He's had a great year."

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