Winterbottom reasserts himself as championship leader with win Sunday

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Winterbottom held off a hard-charging Van Gisbergen to win the third race of the weekend at Hidden Valley Raceway.

At the start, David Reynolds rocketed from third to first and led the way early. Lowndes and Whincup dropped through the pack as cars that started on soft tires swallowed them up. On the 19th lap, Reynolds gave up the top spot to pit for another set of softs.

The safety car was needed for the first time this weekend when Robert Dahlgreen went off at turn five with a stuck throttle, briefly setting the grass on fire. Reynolds, Mostert, and Winterbottom led the way on the restart with 39 laps remaining. Lowndes was suddenly forced to make his way back down pit lane after contact with Mostert. Over Lowndes' radio, the dejected team said, "We just threw away a win…we would of had them next lap."

By the halfway point of the race, points leader Mark Winterbottom had taken charge. After that, Todd Kelly was forced to retire from the race when Lee Holdsworth got into David Wall, who consequently spun into the door of Kelly's machine, snapping the right-rear wheel off. Hos brother Rick would go on to finish ninth.

Jason Bright had what seemed like fairly innocent contact with Garth Tander, but alas, his steering what knocked out of alignment and he was relegated to a 20th place result. At the end of the race, Van Gisbergen was running down Winterbottom at a blistering pace. On the final lap, Van Gisbergen had a dive but it was only enough to get a sniff of the Ford's bumper.

Mark Winterbottom would win the race, firing back at the Holden duo and reasserting his position as the championship leader with his fourth win of the year. He now leads Lowndes (who finished 17th) but 161 points. Whincup has fought his way up to third now, 25 markers back of his teammate and 186 points adrift of Frosty.

After the victory, Winterbottom took to Instagram to express his excitement; "Wow what an amazing race!! Starting p10 I wasn't expecting to win it. Great team effort and one of my proudest moments in Motorsport."

Top Ten Finishers

1.) Mark Winterbottom

2.) Shane van Gisbergen

3.) Jamie Whincup

4.) David Reynolds

5.) James Courtney

6.) Garth Tander

7.) James Moffat

8.) Scott McLaughlin

9.) Rick Kelly

10.) Russell Ingall

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About this article
Series V8SUPERCARS
Event Darwin
Article type Race report
Tags craig lowndes, darwin, david reynolds. jamie whincup, ford, hidden valley raceway, holden, mark winterbottom, red bull, shane van gisbergen