IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom kicked off the Townsville double-header with a 12th place finish in Race 19 of the Virgin Australia Supercars Championship at the Townsville SuperSprint.

Starting 13th, Winterbottom made one of the ‘best starts of his career’ with  a great launch off the line and made it past two rows into the top ten before the first corner.

As chaos unfolded in the nose-to-tail concertina at the Turn 2 hairpin, he navigated through the pack and found himself in eighth at the end of the first lap.

The IRWIN Commodore stopped on Lap 17 and emerged behind Team 18 stablemate Scott Pye, Lee Holdsworth and Scott McLaughlin in ninth.

Winterbottom fell behind De Pasquale and Pither in a late-race battle to finish the first of three 39-lap encounters in 12th.

The IRWIN Racing Commodore returns to action tomorrow with back-to-back qualifying from 10:40am. Race 20 will commence at 1:05pm and Race 21 from 3:40pm.

This weekend’s action can be live on Network 10 from 11:00am, with all sessions simulcast live on Fox Sports 506 and Kayo Sports.

QUOTES

Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

“We didn’t have the speed to contend today but I had one of the best starts of my career,” said Mark Winterbottom.

“I started 13th and jumped up two rows before the first corner, wheels on the dirt and all, it was mega.

“I got served up from behind heading into Turn 2 which pushed me into Van Gisbergen, but there wasn’t much I could do when I was on the brake with the rear of the car in the air.

“We salvaged on and finished 12th and we get to fight back tomorrow.

“We are in a good position with tyres and I think a few little tune ups will put us back in the fight tomorrow.”