Mark Winterbottom & Steve Richards have finished P12 at the Sandown 500 for Round 14 of the Supercars Championship.
Race 30 – Position 12
Following the four thirty-minute Practice sessions at the beginning of the weekend, Winterbottom took to the track for Qualifying and as rain began to fall, Winterbottom sat in P5 but fell out of sequence and got stuck in traffic, eventually finishing P13.
Richards headed out for the first ‘Race for the Grid’ on Saturday and climbed into P12 on the race start, but the tyres were set at a low pressure and didn’t work as expected in the wet weather and he dropped back to P15.
Richards was able to climb back into P12 before the end of the 20-lap dash and was happy to finish in-front of where he began.
Winterbottom was confident heading into his Race for the Grid, but with the weather running rampant before the start, half the field went with wets and the other half on slicks.
Unfortunately, Winterbottom was in the half on slicks and dropped back into P15.
Richards began the 161-lap Race 30 from P14, promoted a position after DJR Team Penske was penalised for an incident at Bathurst.
Moving up into P12 on the Race start, Richards had non-stop battles for the first 17-laps before taking his first stop and rejoining in P23.
Richards moved up into P16 before taking his second stop and rejoining in P18, dropping one position before handing the car over to Winterbottom on lap 55 who headed back onto the track in P21.
Winterbottom ran around the P15 mark for the remainder of the race, taking 3 stops before the 100-lap mark and climbing into P12 where he finished.
“A tough race, 108 laps is pretty hard work around here. We salvaged something out of that with a P12 finish. We had few niggling dramas with power steering through most of the race. The car has reasonable pace but we came from a bit behind but we finished the weekend with a straight car. Hopefully we cap the year off with a good result in Newcastle.” – Mark Winterbottom
“We had a solid start, the first few laps were pretty good. However, I suffered from a lot of understeer throughout the race and I couldn’t really drive the car to its full potential. We pitted early to get some fresh tyres on to improve, it was good for a little while, but then it became difficult again. Disappointed in the result, we would like to be further up obviously. When you look at the times, that’s about where we should have ended. I thought going into today we had a strong car based on the practice sessions but the car felt totally different throughout the race, even compared to the warm-up.” – Steve Richards
IRWIN Racing will now prepare for the Newcastle 500 for the final round of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, to be held on 22 – 24 November with all races to be televised LIVE on Fox Sports.
SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
- 1 – Scott McLaughlin, Shell V-Power Racing – 3614 points
- 2 – Shane Van Gisbergen, Red Bull Holden Racing – 3064 points
- 3 – Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Holden Racing – 2968 points
- 4 – Fabian Coulthard, Shell V-Power Racing – 2791 points
- 5 – Chaz Mostert, Tickford Racing – 2705 points
- 14 – Mark Winterbottom, IRWIN Racing – 1951 points