IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom equalled his best race result for Team 18, finishing fourth in the first race of the 2021 Repco Supercars Championship at the Mount Panorama 500.

Winterbottom started ninth for the race alongside team mate Scott Pye on the fifth row of the grid, after both Team 18 cars progressed through to the top ten shootout earlier in the day.

The IRWIN Commodore made its first pit stop on Lap 8 under the safety car period, and emerged in 11th. Winterbottom carved his way up to sixth after the second pit stop cycle concluded, before he picked off Fullwood for fifth and then inherited fourth after Slade’s crash at Forrest Elbow in the final laps.

Team 18 returns to Mount Panorama tomorrow for another 20-minute qualifying session, top ten shootout and the final 250km race from 3:00pm.

QUOTES

Mark Winterbottom, driver – #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

“It was a great way to start our championship campaign with a fourth in Race 1, but so close again to my first podium for the team,” said Mark Winterbottom.

“We started ninth and had pretty good race pace, stayed out of trouble, made some good moves and worked my way forwards into the top five.

“It’s a good confidence booster to get a strong top five result in the bag and it’s a great feeling knowing we have what it takes to contend this year.”