FROSTY SCORES ANOTHER PODIUM IN CLIPSAL THRILLER Orrcon Steel racer Mark Winterbottom today claimed his fifth podium for the year in a nail-biting final race at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide this afternoon. After starting strongly from 3rd place...
FROSTY SCORES ANOTHER PODIUM IN CLIPSAL THRILLER
Orrcon Steel racer Mark Winterbottom today claimed his fifth podium for the year in a nail-biting final race at the Clipsal 500 in Adelaide this afternoon.
After starting strongly from 3rd place on the grid, Winterbottom faced the first of several impediments to what could have been his first win of the year when his Falcon unexpectedly stalled upon entering pit lane and then again immediately after his pit stop.
Having lost a further 15 seconds to the leaders Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander, Winterbottom rejoined the race back in 12th place - and over the next four laps drove voraciously making several exceptional passing moves to climb back up to fifth position.
Winterbottom continued his climb towards the front until the combination of a rain kissed track and debris from a disintegrating kerb at turn eight caused him to slide into the wall which caused a drop in fuel pressure and hence a lack of grunt allowing James Courtney to pass.
With Jamie Whincup removed from the picture thanks to a 'Mechanic Black Flag', Winterbottom managed to hold off a tenacious Shane Van Gisbergen to cross the line in third place.
"I think I owe the boys a few beers tonight because the car was great but the driver made a few errors -- that really was 'the one that got away' -- the boys really delivered a car today that could win," Winterbottom said.
"I went too hard into turn eight and as a result I didn't have the 'go' left to have a crack at Tander towards the end.
Prior to that our pace was great -- we still have a few gremlins to iron out but I think the car is where it needs to be to win races," he added.
" It was a great race though -- especially when the rain came - people were diving down the inside, outside, going sideways - bits were flying off cars -- it was on for young and old so I'm sure the spectators an viewers at home would have got their money's worth."
Winterbottom maintains second place on the V8 Supercar Championship points table with 771 points, just 57 behind leader Jamie Whincup.
Dunlop Super Dealer Falcon pilot Steve Richards also put in a valiant effort to come home in 13th place.
Richards battled rear-brake locking early on, hindering how deep and late he could pull his FPR Falcon up costing him valuable time every lap.
"The first session was really difficult on the old tyres," Richards said.
"The second and third stints were much better but the car still liked to pitch its nose in under brakes -- we'll go through the data this week and find a solution so we're good to go in a fortnight at the GP."