Mark Winterbottom has finished P6 after starting from last position in Race 2 at the SuperLoop Adelaide 500 this weekend and leaves the event 6th in the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship.
Race 1 – Position 9
Determined for his debut in the IRWIN Racing Commodore, Winterbottom finished P5 and P6 in the opening Practice Sessions on old tyres.
Winterbottom qualified P16, but the team believed their fastest lap wasn’t recorded, which should’ve been P11.
The missing lap time was investigated but it was revealed Winterbottom had a kerb strike and the warning system was off, and he began Race 1 on the 8th Row.
Winterbottom had a good start to the Race and was able to climb into the Top Ten by the end of the 78-lap long outing, finishing P9 on his debut with IRWIN Racing.
“It was a good first Race with the team, had a really good start and got amongst them a bit. We had good pace and went long in the first stint but in the second stint we got a kerb strike and did a bit of damage to the steering. We had our battles but Top 10 from 16th is a really good result, I had as much fun as I could have in 40 degree heat and we will build on this.”
Race 2 – Position 6
In Qualifying on Sunday morning, a Power Steering Pump failed on Winterbottom’s out-lap and the team was unable to fix it within the 20-minute session.
Winterbottom was unable to set a lap time as result and began the Race from P24.
The IRWIN Racing Driver had a great start to the final Race of the Round and made his way up to P18 by the end of the first lap.
The team made a strategic call when the Safety Car was bought out and Winterbottom headed into the Pits for a second refuel and rejoined the Race in P8, dodging a crash in Pit Lane that held up the rest of the field.
Winterbottom made his way into P6 after his third and final stop and held off Whincup to finish just outside the Top Five.
Winterbottom is now 6th in the Supercars Championship Standings, the highest ever for Team 18.
“To start 24th you hope you can maybe get Top 15 but you never give up, we wanted to come away Top 10 in the Championship this weekend and when you start 24th it’s hard to get your goals but we have! We had a really good start and got in a rhythm then the Safety Car worked in our favour and we held on until the end. We are learning, we’re finishing, the car is straight, the guys worked their backside off to fix the steering and now we can re-group and keep pushing forward.”
IRWIN Racing will now prepare for the Melbourne 400 for Round 2 of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, to be held on 14 – 17 March with all races to be televised LIVE on Fox Sports.
SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
- 1 – Scott McLaughlin, Shell V-Power Racing – 300 points
- 2 – Shane Van Gisbergen, Red Bull Holden Racing – 258 points
- 3 – Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Holden Racing – 234 points
- 4 – Will Davison, Milwaukee Racing – 210 points
- 5 – Nick Percat, Brad Jones Racing – 207 points
- 6 – Mark Winterbottom, IRWIN Racing – 186 points