IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom salvaged a top ten finish in the final race of an otherwise trying weekend for Team 18 at the Bunnings Trade Sydney SuperNight.
Sunday’s running saw two back-to-back qualifying sessions and two 32-lap races in the afternoon sun.
Winterbottom started 16th for Race 21, with Pye a row behind in 18th. Winterbottom made a good start and gained a position on the opening lap, and then passed Le Brocq into Turn 2 on the second, as Pye followed through.
Pye took four tyres during his pit stop on Lap 6, and rejoined the field just outside of the top ten, but lost ground towards the end as his tyres worsened.
Winterbottom went for an alternate longer strategy, pitting on Lap 16, but fell behind the midfield runners in 18th.
Winterbottom rolled out on the grid for his 550th championship start in 7th place, with Pye starting 21st for Race 22.
Winterbottom lost one position off the line and held eighth position for the first stint before hanging on for a top ten finish, as Pye battled home in 20th.
The team will regroup prepare the cars to get back on track for next week’s Armor All Sydney SuperNight on 6-7 November.
Mark Winterbottom, driver – #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore
“We’re not fast enough at the moment, we’ll come back for three more weekends and try and get it better to get the IRWIN car up the front.
“All in all, it was cool to reach 550 races today, and with a top ten to finish back here in Sydney.
“I’m really excited to go racing again next week. We’ll work hard and come back in a week’s time to go racing again.”
Scott Pye, driver – #20 DEWALT Racing Holden ZB Commodore
“It’s been a very challenging weekend, I’m glad it’s behind us.
“We’ve got another three events coming up here so there is plenty of time to try and improve on what we’ve got, so we’ll put our heads together and see if we can come out stronger next week.
“Today was difficult, we made a slight hiccup with the choice of tyres in the final race,
“here’s plenty of work to do, we’ll keep our head down during the week and we’ll do the best we can to come out stronger next week.
“Frosty snagged a top ten in the last race so hopefully we can learnt a bit from that and carry some momentum into next week.”