Mark Winterbottom has finished P17 and P12 at the Darwin TripleCrown for Round 7 of the Supercars Championship.
Race 15 – Position 17
Winterbottom began Race 15 from P13 after missing out on advancing to Q3 in the elimination format.
In a carnage-filled opening lap, Winterbottom was able to remain on track but dropped to P14 avoiding the damaged cars flying across the track.
On the second lap, Winterbottom made a passing move on Heimgartner at Turn 14 but unfortunately, they came together, and their wheel nuts made contact sending the Number 18 Car high in the air.
Winterbottom dropped into P16 after the incident, but with some bent steering, he was able to remain on track and was the last car to take his stop on Lap 32 of 42.
The Pit Stop was hampered by 8 seconds when Winterbottom overshot the Pit Box and rejoined in P18 where he would finish.
The result was promoted to P17 later that night when a car ahead was penalised 15-seconds and Winterbottom dropped from 11th to 12th in the Championship Standings.
“Tough Race, I thought we were going ok early on with the pace but as people got caught up we tried to stay clean but by doing that it sometimes creates more drama. Unfortunately turned down at Turn 14 and hit Heimgartner in the back, tried to pull up but Rick (Kelly) was on the side and it was just a disaster. They don’t get much worse than that but I’ll take the blame, I made a mistake. We had damage and tried to survive but I overshot the pit box a bit and gave the boys a hard time and lost about 8 seconds there.”
Race 16 – Position 12
Winterbottom qualified P10 for Sunday’s 70 Lap Race, making the Top Ten Shootout for the first time this year, but failed to complete his lap as a locked front right tyre on entry to Turn 1 ended with a blown tyre.
Winterbottom had a good start to the Race and immediately claimed a position from Kelly for P9, before heading in for his first stop on Lap 21 and took on a larger fuel intake.
Rejoining in P16, Winterbottom was able to make his way around the circuit drama-free before taking his second stop on Lap 49 and rejoining the field again in P12 where he then finished.
Winterbottom has remained 12th in the Supercars Championship Standings.
“It was a pretty trouble free race, made a spot off the start, but with strategy got put back in the pack a bit and I couldn’t get in a rhythm. The car was reasonably quick but not very good racing wise. Kind of an uneventful race, we stayed out of trouble and got more data. Positive is we made the shootout, negative is we didn’t do anything in it. A clean race is a good way to end the weekend!”
IRWIN Racing will now prepare for the Townsville 400 for Round 8 of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, to be held on 5 – 7 July with all races to be televised LIVE on Fox Sports.
SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
- 1 – Scott McLaughlin, Shell V-Power Racing – 1946 points
- 2 – Fabian Coulthard, Shell V-Power Racing – 1627 points
- 3 – David Reynolds, Penrite Racing – 1487 points
- 4 – Chaz Mostert, Tickford Racing – 1400 points
- 5 – Shane Van Gisbergen, Red Bull Holden Racing – 1399 points
- 12 – Mark Winterbottom, IRWIN Racing – 1009 points