IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom scored his third-consecutive top five finish of the season in Race 3 of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship at the Sandown SuperSprint, as DEWALT Racing’s Scott Pye improved from 18th to 12th.
Starting fourth, Winterbottom made a blinding start and almost made it to the lead by the first corner, before slotting into second behind Cameron Waters until the pit stop cycle began.
Winterbottom pitted on Lap 19, as the IRWIN Racing Commodore exited in effective sixth behind Chaz Mostert, Jamie Whincup and then early stopper Anton De Pasquale.
Winterbottom used his fresh-tyre advantage to move back past De Pasquale for fifth, and then muscled his way past Chaz Mostert for fourth with two laps remaining to score his second fourth-place finish on the trot.
The IRWIN Racing Commodore returns to Sandown tomorrow for two ten-minute Qualifying sessions, followed by Races 4 and 5 of the championship at 1:30pm and 4:30pm respectively.
Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore
“Really good day, really proud to roll out after a strong opener at Bathurst and to carry on with the same pace.”
“I’ve got my confidence back, I feel like the car is doing what I need it to do and I’m hustling up the front, it’s good fun.
“We had top five pace all through Practice and Qualifying. I got an awesome jump off the line in the race and went two wide with Cam Waters into Turn 2, but plenty of respect there as we gave each other enough room to get through the corner, it was an awesome battle to start the race.
“Before the pit stop I thought we were on for a podium but we lost a bit of ground there and emerged behind De Pasquale, and I struggled for pace for a bit behind him.
“I got Mostert for fourth with two laps to go, another fourth but a great haul of points for the team and myself.
“We are so close to my first podium for this team and we’ll go hard to try and earn that tomorrow.”