Winton: Mark Winterbottom preview

VICTORIAN GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR FPR Leading the V8 Supercar Championship at the half-way point is more than Mark Winterbottom expected at the beginning of the season, but his fiercest competition is no surprise. Besides Ford Performance ...

VICTORIAN GREAT EXPECTATIONS FOR FPR

Leading the V8 Supercar Championship at the half-way point is more than Mark Winterbottom expected at the beginning of the season, but his fiercest competition is no surprise.

Besides Ford Performance Racing team-mate Steve Richards, Garth Tander and Jamie Whincup were top of the 27-year-old's predictions for 2008 and, leading into round eight at Winton this weekend, it's those two who are his biggest threats.

"They're definitely the main contenders," said the #5 Orrcon Steel Ford Credit FPR Falcon driver. "You always expect Garth to be up there but Whincup is hit and miss; if he gets it right he gets a bag of points but he often gets it wrong."

Frosty has taken seven victories so far this year, three more than third-place Whincup and two ahead of second-place Tander, despite the early rounds being some of FPR's weakest.

Now Winterbottom is looking to maintain his record for the remaining seven race meetings and take his inaugural V8 Supercar Championship crown.

"It's important to be a race winner and my approach isn't going to change in the second half of the season," he said. "You've got to finish races consistently though and not take risks. I haven't been taking risks all year and I'm not going to start now.

"I think I drive better under pressure and leading is enjoyable for me. To be fighting for a championship is good pressure! It's way better than any other pressure you could get because it means you're in contention."

The FPR cars will be on track at Winton Motor Raceway from this Friday at 12.35 for the first practice.

-credit: fpr.com.au

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About this article
Series Supercars
Drivers Garth Tander , Jamie Whincup , Mark Winterbottom , Steve Richards