Stone Brothers Racing's Mark Winterbottom maintained a strong lead in the Konica V8 Supercar Championship Series with an impressive second outright placing in round four at Phillip Island in Victoria today. Winner of the first three rounds, ...
Stone Brothers Racing's Mark Winterbottom maintained a strong lead in the Konica V8 Supercar Championship Series with an impressive second outright placing in round four at Phillip Island in Victoria today.
Winner of the first three rounds, Winterbottom managed his place on the podium despite being plagued by some mechanical problems in his Milligans Food Group Falcon during the day.
The 21 year-old Gold Coaster started the first race from pole after clocking a qualifying time of one minute and 34.16 seconds -- a time that would have placed him ninth in the grid at the V8 Supercar Championship Series at Phillip Island back in April!
He had stretched his lead to 10 seconds when a pace car was required. He again dominated from the re-start to take the chequered flag.
He started from the back in the second race which was a reverse grid formation.
He made strong progress from the start, but was forced off the track to avoid a couple of spinning cars and lost four places.
He had raced his way to sixth with four laps remaining when his engine started to drop power. He managed to limp the car home without losing a spot, but his SBR crew had less than an hour to do a complete engine change.
Despite some lightening fast work, the car was unable to get out for an observation lap and Winterbottom was forced to start the race from pit lane.
Amazingly, Winterbottom over came this, a loose injector clip and a slipping clutch to make his way through the field to finish an impressive seventh.
"It was a pretty tough day for everyone, but we still managed to get some valuable points," said Winterbottom.
"The boys did a remarkable job to get the engine changed in such a short space of time, but unfortunately we missed the start by just a minute or so.
"We have our eyes firmly set on the championship and today's efforts will help."
The round was won by Matthew White from Winterbottom and his fellow Queenslander Brett Peters to give Ford a clean sweep.
The next round of the championship will be at Winton in North-East Victoria on August 2-3.
Stone Brothers Racing will now prepare for round seven of the V8 Supercar Championship Series which will be held at Queensland Raceway on July 18-20.
At that meeting Marcos Ambrose will be chasing a record-equaling fifth consecutive round victory in his Pirtek Falcon.