Winterbottom wins V8 opener

Mark Winterbottom took a comfortable win from the first of three V8 Supercars races at Queensland Raceway.

The Prodrive Racing Australia driver jumped team-mate and pole-sitter Chaz Mostert off the line, slotting straight into a lead he would easily hold for all 20 laps. In the end, winning margin back to Volvo’s Scott McLaughlin was 4.5s.

“Starts are everything. To get to Turn 1 first will let you dictate the race,” Winterbottom said.

“I got clear, and the car was pretty good. I’m struggling with it, I feel I can get a lot more out of it. But any win in this category is awesome.”

McLaughlin also did all of his racing right at the start, barging past Mostert on the run to Turn 1. Mostert did his best to come back at McLaughlin later in the lap, but the Volvo driver held firm. From there, he was clear to take his first podium finish of 2015.

And when Shane van Gisbergen and Mostert started scrapping over third, McLaughlin was free to slot into a comfy second position.

Meanwhile, van Gisbergen pushed Mostert wide to initially grab the final spot on the podium at the last corner of the first lap, and while Mostert tried his best to push back on the next lap, van Gisbergen had enough to keep the Prodrive Falcon behind.

The pair continued to run nose-to-tail for the remainder of the race, with Craig Lowndes joining the fight mid-way through the race.

What followed a thrilling battle for third spot, which came to a head at the start of the final lap when van Gisbergen and Mostert started making contact down the main straight. That allowed Lowndes to get a run on Mostert on the entry to Turn 1, and then set-up a move on van Gisbergen he could get done on the exit of Turn 3.

That left Lowndes with an unlikely podium, with van Gisbergen and Mostert forced to settle for fourth and fifth ahead of James Courtney and David Reynolds.

James Moffat was the best Nissan driver in eighth, while Jamie Whincup’s tough season continued, the reigning champ coming home ninth.

Will Davison was 10th, the best of the Erebus cars, ahead of title contender Fabian Coulthard who was just 11th.

Andre Heimgartner, who did so well to qualify third, ended up 15th after running wide on Lap 3.

Pos   Driver   Car   Time   Gap
1 M.Winterbottom Ford 23'51.2846  
2 Scott McLaughlin Volvo 23'55.8144 4.5298
3 Craig Lowndes Holden 24'02.6716 11.3870
4 S.van Gisbergen Holden 24'03.1046 11.8200
5 Chaz Mostert Ford 24'03.5191 12.2345
6 James Courtney Holden 24'03.8617 12.5771
7 David Reynolds Ford 24'04.1227 12.8381
8 Jamie Whincup Holden 24'04.9081 13.6235
9 Will Davison Mercedes 24'06.0820 14.7974
10 Fabian Coulthard Holden 24'09.9093 18.6247
11 Tim Slade Holden 24'10.7465 19.4619
12 Nick Percat Holden 24'11.1230 19.8384
13 Garth Tander Holden 24'11.6858 20.4012
14 A.Heimgartner Ford 24'13.5608 22.2762
15 Lee Holdsworth Holden 24'14.0232 22.7386
16 Rick Kelly Nissan 24'16.2685 24.9839
17 Michael Caruso Nissan 24'16.5640 25.2794
18 Ashley Walsh Mercedes 24'17.6712 26.3866
19 Todd Kelly Nissan 24'18.0956 26.8110
20 Tim Blanchard Holden 24'24.0540 32.7694
21 Dale Wood Holden 24'25.4544 34.1698
22 David Wall Volvo 24'54.0259 2 Laps
DSQ James Moffat Nissan 24'04.5964  
DNF Scott Pye Ford 12'06.3676  
DNF  Jason Bright Holden    

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About this article
Series Supercars
Event Ipswich
Track Queensland Raceway
Drivers Mark Winterbottom
Teams Prodrive Racing Australia
Article type Race report