Mark Winterbottom has finished P12, P11, P13 and P6 at the Melbourne 400 for Round 2 of the Supercars Championship.
Race 3 – Position 12
Beginning the round at the F1 Series opener, Winterbottom finished P4 and P16 in the 30-minute Practices at Albert Park.
With the 10-minute rolling Qualifying sessions that followed, Winterbottom finished P10 and P10 on Thursday afternoon and P11 and P7 on Friday morning.
Winterbottom began the first 25-Lap Race on Friday afternoon from the fifth Row of the Grid but a slow pit held him back in the lane.
The IRWIN Racing team had opted to run on a longer strategy which kept Winterbottom out of the lane until Lap 15 and he was able to jump to P12 by the end of the Race.
Race 4 – Position 11
Winterbottom began the Milestone 200th Race for Team 18 on Saturday morning’s P11, with no Pit Stops or Safety Cars in the 13-lap sprint making for a quick race.
The Race was tight and Winterbottom held his position for the close opening laps but was overtaken by Van Gisbergen with two laps remaining and finished behind him in P11.
Race 5 – Position 13
Winterbottom began Saturday afternoon’s Race from P11, but the two race leaders crashed in the out-lap, meaning Winterbottom began essentially P9.
Jumping into P8 on the start, Winterbottom remained in the same position until he took his stop on Lap 15 and rejoined in P12.
A Safety Car was called on Lap 20 when Winterbottom was in P11, but on the restart, he was sent wide by De Pasquale and dropped to P13, where he finished.
Race 6 – Position 6
Starting the Race from P7, Winterbottom was able to move into P6 on Lap 3, but a large crash for Jones meant the Safety Car held up the Race as the Car was taken off the track.
Due to time restrictions, the Race was called early and Winterbottom finished in P6, the best result of the weekend and equal best result this year.
The results outside the top ten at the start of the weekend meant Winterbottom has now dropped to 10th in the Championship Standings.
“Not a bad weekend, I think we didn’t really learn a massive amount about the car. In Quali we did get better as the weekend went on but in Racing, we struggled a bit. It was cool to finish the weekend P6 and give the guys something for their hard work. P6 is about where our speed is, the car is straight and a few weeks before Tassie to prepare. We are hitting our numbers and finishing Top Ten, everyone’s worked really hard and it’s cool, but we want to win!” – Mark Winterbottom
IRWIN Racing will now prepare for the Tasmania SuperSprint for Round 3 of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, to be held on 5 – 7 April with all races to be televised LIVE on Fox Sports.
SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
- 1 – Scott McLaughlin, Shell V-Power Racing – 500 points
- 2 – Jamie Whincup, Red Bull Holden Racing – 469 points
- 3 – Chaz Mostert, Tickford Racing – 437 points
- 4 – Will Davison, Milwaukee Racing – 413 points
- 5 – Tim Slade, Brad Jones Racing – 390 points
- 10 – Mark Winterbottom, IRWIN Racing – 334 points