Fairytale win kickstarts Winterbottom's V8 career. The extraordinary start to Mark Winterbottom's V8 Supercar career continued today with the Gold Coast 21-year-old winning round one of the Konica Series at Wakefield Park near Goulburn. After...
Fairytale win kickstarts Winterbottom's V8 career.
The extraordinary start to Mark Winterbottom's V8 Supercar career continued today with the Gold Coast 21-year-old winning round one of the Konica Series at Wakefield Park near Goulburn.
After claiming pole position yesterday, the Milligans Food Group Racing driver took out race one this morning by four seconds ahead of Owen Kelly (Smiths Trucks Racing) and Tony Ricciardello (Dick Johnson Racing).
With a reverse grid for race two, Winterbottom started at the back of the 25-car field and weaved his Milligans Food Group Racing Falcon AU through to sixth by the end of the 17-lap race.
Race two was won by fellow Ford driver Brett Peters (Brett Peters Racing) with Andrew Jones (Brad Jones Racing) and Luke Youlden (Super Cheap Auto Racing) completing a Ford trifecta.
Then the real race began in the third and final race of the day to work out today's overall round winner. Winterbottom showed driving talent and composure beyond his years to take the chequered flag by nearly five seconds from Kelly with Ricciardello in third place.
After the three races, Winterbottom amassed 182 points to win round one of the Konica V8 Supercar Series from Ricciardello with 176 points and Kelly on 172 points.
Winterbottom said it was a dream start to his V8 career and for a successful season with Milligans Food Group Racing.
"After achieving pole, I was feeling good and didn't have any pressure on me to perform," said Winterbottom.
"I managed to stay out of trouble in race two after starting from the back of the grid, and then the nerves hit for race three.
"It's hard trying to stay out front but today it all went really well. It was the longest stint I have had in a race car which was a big learning curve."
Team Manager Ross Stone was impressed with his charge's performance especially after limited testing time in a V8 Supercar.
"This was a bit unexpected. We knew Mark was quick but you don't know how you're going to go until you get here," said Stone.
"We've got a long-term vision for Mark and all of this is a great learning experience and confidence booster."
Winterbottom's campaign has been made possible with naming-rights support from Milligans Food Group and major support from Bosch Spark Plugs and Caltex Havoline.
Winterbottom is on a five-year contract with Stone Brothers Racing as part of its junior development program. He excelled last year claiming second place in the Australian Formula Ford Championship and being named Rookie of the Year.
The race will be telecast on Network Ten at 4pm on March 16. Round two of the Konica V8 Supercar Series will be held in Adelaide on March 22.
ROUND ONE RESULTS -- KONICA V8 SUPERCAR SERIES
1 - Mark Winterbottom (Milligans Food Group Racing) 182
2 - Tony Ricciardello (Dick Johnson Racing) 176
3 - Owen Kelly (Smiths Trucks Pty Ltd) 172
4 - Luke Youlden (Super Cheap Auto Racing) 168
5 - Andrew Jones (Brad Jones Racing) 164
6 - Mathew White (VIP Petfoods) 162
7 - Brett Peters (Brett Peters) 154
8 - Mark Porter (Hydraulink Racing / IRC) 150
9 -- Kevin Mundy (Actron Air) 132
10 - Todd Wanless (Paul Cruickshank Racing) 130