Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000. Event 11 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, Bathurst, Australia. 15-18 October

IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom and James Golding will start 18th for the 2020 Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, after a late shower put paid to any hopes of progressing into the the Top 10 Shootout during qualifying this afternoon.

The second of four days of on-track action at Mount Panorama saw two one-hour practice sessions, before a 40 minute qualifying session in the afternoon.

Golding completed the opening session of the day exclusively for co-drivers in the IRWIN Commodore, finishing seventh fastest with a time in the low 2:05s.

Winterbottom was set to improve from 17th fastest in Practice 5 before he was caught behind Scott McLaughlin when he crashed at Forrests Elbow at the end of the session.

Qualifying saw a mid-session red flag period haunt proceedings, before Winterbottom went out and set what would ultimately be his fastest time before a light rain shower curtailed anymore running.

Winterbottom and Golding will launch from the ninth row for The Great Race 18th position.

The IRWIN Racing Commodore returns to the track tomorrow for two further one-hour practice sessions, before the Top 10 Shootout will determine the grid from first to 10th ahead of the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 on Sunday.

Saturday’s action can be viewed live on Network 10, Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports.

Mark Winterbottom
driver, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

“We qualified 18th this afternoon for the big race,” said Winterbottom.

“We went in the wrong direction with our setup and detuned it, but at least we have more answers as we work to fine tune the IRWIN Commodore into a strong race car.

“We have lots to work on through the practice tomorrow, but James [Golding] and I will continue to work with our engineers to find a better race car balance for Sunday.”

James Golding
driver, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

“We definitely improved on yesterday, we tried a few changes but nothing really fixed the things we were trying to solve, but I definitely got a lot more out of myself as I continue to get used to the car.

“I’ve got another run tomorrow to get even more laps in before the big one on Sunday, which is the most important thing for to just get comfortable with turning lap after lap.

“Our feedback correlates pretty well between Frosty and I so that makes things easier for the engineers, and driving wise I can slot straight in without having to change much which is handy.

“It’s a long race so even though we didn’t qualify where we wanted to be, anything can happen so as long as we improve our race car that’s our aim as we build to Sunday.”