IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom was caught up again in ESeries chaos while wildcard James Golding came home strong for Team 18 in Round 8 of the BP Supercars All Stars ESeries.
The eighth night of the All Stars ESeries returned to Phillip Island for Race 24 by virtue of a fan vote while Races 25 and 26 were held at Brazilian Formula 1 circuit Interlagos. Races 24 and 25 were held over 12 laps with a single pit stop while the final race was fought over 20 laps with two compulsory stops.
The IRWIN Racing Commodores ran in close quarters early in the first race, racing side-by-side in the opening laps, but It was a tough race for the pair with Winterbottom 18th and Golding 23rd.
The field experienced a clean start for Race 25 at Interlagos as Golding got past Winterbottom and made up a couple of positions early. Winterbottom’s night worsened when he was turned around by Jake Kostecki and finished back in 17th. Golding finished 21st after battling again in the mid-pack and came unstuck spinning on the pit exit road after completing his compulsory stop.
The final race saw the comeback of the full-field reverse grid, and chaos inevitably ensued on the first lap as up to half the field were caught up in several incidents in the first couple of corners, with Winterbottom banging doors with Macauley Jones and t-boned out of action early and finishing 16th. Starting ninth, Golding showed strong pace to make his way up to fourth on his Supercars ESeries debut.
The BP Supercars All Stars ESeries continues next Wednesday June 3 with Round 9 to be held on the Michigan International Speedway and a venue to be decided by a driver ballot. Watch qualifying live from 6pm on Fox Sports 506 with racing commencing from 7pm. It can also be viewed live on 10 Play and the IRWIN Racing Facebook page.
Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden Commodore
“We had some pace tonight and we had some fun at Phillip Island in the first race,” said Mark Winterbottom.
“I’ve raced at Interlagos before in the Brazilian Stock Car Championship so it was nice to race there again from the comfort of my home in Melbourne.
“We tried a funky strategy and did both of our compulsory pit stops under the early safety car but just ran out of tyre performance towards the end of the race.”
James Golding, driver #31 IRWIN Racing Holden Commodore
“It was great to get a wildcard start in the BP Supercars All Stars ESeries in a second IRWIN Racing car alongside Mark Winterbottom,” said James Golding.
“I made a few errors in the first two races but redeemed myself in the reverse grid to start ninth and finish fourth. I pitted early and had to battle when the pack caught up and had to fight on worn tyres.
“It was great to mix it up with the guys at the front and all the regular Supercar drivers, the whole field was so close and the racing was cut throat.
“I have tried to get on the simulator at least three days a week during this time but otherwise I have been getting outside and keeping busy and preparing for when we can go back racing.”