Mark Winterbottom & Steve Richards have finished P22 & P19 at the Gold Coast 600 for Round 13 of the Supercars Championship.
Race 26 – Position 22
Following three short thirty-minute Practice sessions on Friday, Winterbottom took to the track for Qualifying, but traffic at the end of the session meant he wasn’t able to set a time better than P15.
Richards was the first IRWIN Racing driver for the 102-lap Race 26 and held his place through the early laps as he avoided carnage through the unforgiving Gold Coast track.
Unfortunately the combination of a small mistake and later the car losing a gear position sensor, Richards dropped into P23.
Winterbottom took over on Lap 38, but endured a lengthy pit stop as the team worked to reset and fix the issue with the gear sensor.
As a result, Winterbottom fell 1.9 laps down from the lead and was unable recover before the last lap, finishing the Race in P22.
Race 27 – Position 19
Qualifying on Sunday at the Gold Coast was red-flagged with just over a minute remaining as Winterbottom was forced to pull out of his final flying lap and as a result he finished P12.
Richards again started the Race in the Number 18, but on Lap 1 he was stopped in his tracks behind a four car pile-up and dropped into P16.
Richards was able to move into P13 before handing the car over to Winterbottom who rejoined in P12.
Winterbottom suffered significant damage to the back of the Number 18 when he clashed with Rullo, with the damage causing the advanced deterioration of the back right tyre and leading to a lengthy pit stop to fix the rear.
Winterbottom rejoined in P21, almost 3 laps down but was able to move into P19 before the chequered flag.
As a result of the grim weekend, Winterbottom dropped to 13th from 12th in the Supercars Championship Standings.
“Certainly a wrong place, wrong time kind of weekend. P19 – gutted, the car is quick. The IRWIN Racing boys have been working hard, now we just need some luck to be able to capitalise on the speed.” – Mark Winterbottom
“My stint was ok but got caught up in the first lap drama, pressed on as well as I could from there and did the stop and Frosty jumped in. Frustrating that we’ve come away without a result but there’s signs there, we just need to get to the end without any drama.” – Steve Richards
IRWIN Racing will now prepare for the Sandown 500 for Round 14 of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, to be held on 8 – 10 November with all races to be televised LIVE on Fox Sports.
SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
1 – Scott McLaughlin, Shell V-Power Racing – 3437 points
2 – Shane Van Gisbergen, Red Bull Holden Racing – 2974 points
3 – Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Holden Racing – 2668 points
4 – Fabian Coulthard, Shell V-Power Racing – 2557 points
5 – David Reynolds, Penrite Racing – 2474 points
13 – Mark Winterbottom, IRWIN Racing – 1816 points