Brad Jones Racing's Andrew Jones has won the fifth round of the 2003 Konica V8 Supercar Series at Winton Motor Raceway today after finishing the first and third race in first position. The Albury-based driver finished the final race ahead of...
Brad Jones Racing's Andrew Jones has won the fifth round of the 2003 Konica V8 Supercar Series at Winton Motor Raceway today after finishing the first and third race in first position.
The Albury-based driver finished the final race ahead of Stone Brothers Racing's Mark Winterbottom and Smiths Truck's Owen Kelly, and took out the round ahead of Gulf Western Oil's Matthew White and Winterbottom.
Jones started from pole position in the third race and fought off attacks from Winterbottom and Kelly as they separated from the rest of the pack. A few minor altercations at the rear resulted in three safety car periods that extended the race to 29-laps.
The round win notches up the first ever for the Brad Jones Racing team, and the first for Andrew Jones.
"The day has gone fantastic," Jones said. "I am extremely happy to get the first Brad Jones Racing win even though Brad isn't here to celebrate it.
"All day the car had plenty of speed. I probably could have pushed it a bit harder in that last race but I didn't want to push it too much just in case I ran the car off the track."
Despite encountering a few difficulties earlier on in the day, Winterbottom's third position for the round was enough to secure the 2003 Konica V8 Supercar Championship for the SBR team.
"This is an absolute dream come true," Winterbottom said. "I didn't think winning the Championship would happen in my first year of racing in the Konica Series, but it has and it has been fantastic."
Winterbottom looked to put a dampener on his title campaign at the start of today's warm up session, when engine difficulties put a stop to his Milligan Food Group's Falcon AU after only two laps.
The problem similar to that the SBR team encountered at the last Konica V8 Supercar round at Phillip Island looked to be repeated, when a complete engine change was made before the first race started.
Jones took full advantage of the situation comfortably taking the honours for the 14-lap race one, eight seconds ahead of Gulf Western Oil's Matthew White and 14 seconds ahead of Holden Young Lions driver Dale Brede.
Winterbottom difficulties continued in race one, starting from pit lane after missing the warm-up lap and sacrificing his pole position. Things didn't get better for the SBR youngster when a disconnected plug lead left the Falcon running with minimal power, resulting in thirteenth position for the race and fourteenth on the grid for the second full reverse grid race.
Race two's full reverse grid saw Doulman Automotive's Peter Doulman on the front line with Owen Kelly.
Kelly took a convincing lead at the start of the race, ahead of Hydraulink Racing's Mark Porter and Winterbottom who crept up the field from his fourteenth on the grid to a competitive third position.
A two-lap safety car period occurred when four cars tangled going into turn 12 and left Doulman in the gravel trap, narrowing the gap between the three drivers. But Kelly capitalised on his lead, taking his Commodore to its first win of the round and putting aside the misfortune the Smiths Truck's team encountered at the previous round at Phillip Island.
The sixth and final round heads to Mallala Motorsport Park on August 30-31 in what is expected to be the grand finale to what has been a very successful year for the Konica V8 Supercar Series. <pre> RACE THREE TOP TEN RESULTS 1. #12 Andrew Jones Falcon AU 2. #41 Mark Winterbottom Falcon AU 3. #72 Owen Kelly Commodore VT 4. #28 Matthew White Falcon AU 5. #14 Steve Owen Commodore VX 6. #30 Luke Youlden Falcon AU 7. #46 Dale Brede Commodore VX 8. #40 Brett Peters Falcon AU 9. #56 Kevin Mundy Falcon AU 10. #47 Craig Bastian Falcon AU
TOP TEN CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS 1. #41 Mark Winterbottom 892 2. #28 Matthew White 852 3. #64 Mark Porter 690 4. #72 Owen Kelly 680 5. #40 Brett Peters 670 6. #30 Luke Youlden 666 7. #88 Peter Gazzard 644 8. #56 Kevin Mundy 612 9. #46 Dale Brede 604 10. #12 Andrew Jones 540