Mark Winterbottom has finished P9 and with no classification in Race 18 at the Townsville 400 for Round 8 of the Supercars Championship.
Race 17 – Position 9
Winterbottom began Race 17 from P10 as the series returned to the standard 20-minute qualifying session.
Climbing into P9 at the start, Winterbottom was able to race into P7 before cars began to take their first stops of the 70-lap race.
Winterbottom took his first stop on lap 24 and rejoined in effectively P11, but had to fight against bent steering for the remainder of the race and finished in P9.
As a result of the top ten finish, Winterbottom advanced from 12th to 11th in the Supercars Championship.
“Not a bad race, we finished up P9. We were having a really good 1st stint, then bent something and the steering was alternating between left and right hand down which made it hard to drive. Something came loose, but we survived and moved up a spot which was good. We could have done a lot better, but we’ll learn from today’s data and hopefully get a taste of the cars true speed tomorrow!”
Race 18 – Position NC
Winterbottom qualified P18, with the car set-up heading in the wrong direction.
Winterbottom had a great start to the Race and flew through the wet field, all driving on soft tyres, into P11 before lap 5.
Taking his first stop on Lap 20 under Safety Car, Winterbottom rejoined in P12 and advanced to P9 on the restart, but clashed with Andre Heimgartner and was handed a drive-through penalty for his part in the incident.
Taking a stop to fix the damage and also serving the penalty a lap later, Winterbottom rejoined in P16 and climbed into P14 before he was turned into by Macauley Jones and sustained broken steering.
Heading into the garage, the crew worked hard to get Winterbottom back on track 12 laps later, but the Race was called early and the team hadn’t completed enough laps to claim a result and Championship points.
As a result of the troublesome race, Winterbottom has dropped to 14th in the Supercars Championship standings.
“Tough race, we were really quick! The Heimgartner incident was completely my fault, I tried to pass Davo but couldn’t pull it up on the white lines. I deserved a drive though for that, but the Jones one, I had made a clean pass and just got turned down on. That broke the steering and our race was done. We easily had the pace to be in the top 5. Frustrating, and I’m dirty on myself for making the first mistake. Guys did an awesome job to get me back out, but we missed classification by 1 lap. I’m disappointed for them, I let them down today.”
IRWIN Racing will now prepare for the Ipswich SuperSprint for Round 9 of the 2019 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship, to be held on 26 – 28 July with all races to be televised LIVE on Fox Sports.
SUPERCARS CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS
- 1 – Scott McLaughlin, Shell V-Power Racing – 2168 points
- 2 – Fabian Coulthard, Shell V-Power Racing – 1876 points
- 3 – Shane Van Gisbergen, Red Bull Holden Racing – 1669 points
- 4 – Chaz Mostert, Tickford Racing – 1640 points
- 5 – David Reynolds, Penrite Racing – 1634 points
- 14 – Mark Winterbottom, IRWIN Racing – 1093 points