V8 Supercars press release
MARK Winterbottom has led a dominant 1-2-3 for Ford in Race 2 of the MSS Security V8 Supercars Challenge at Albert Park.
He led home Shane van Gisbergen after snatching the lead on the last lap of 12, with early leader Will Davison coming home third after starting on soft tyres and pitting for hards with a lap to go.
Jamie Whincup blitzed his rivals off the start, but a mistake in the pits robbed him of valuable track time to finish the race fifth.
There were also dramas for team-mate Craig Lowndes who rolled his #888 Commodore into the garage on lap seven with mechanical problems and took no further part in the race.
Garth Tander was the highest placed Holden in fourth, followed by Whincup. Lee Holdsworth, Rick Kelly, David Reynolds, Todd Kelly and James Courtney rounded out the top 10.
It was a tale of different tyre strategies with early race leader, Ford Performance Racing’s Will Davison leading for most of the race on soft tyres. But his early surge caused an opening lap touch with his team-mate Mark Winterbottom.
“I got a great launch off soft tyres,” says Davison.
“I was aware everyone else had hard tyres around me so I was pretty keen to just try get to the lead.
“I went to go up the middle and that gap shut, went to go to the right of Jamie, then I was four wide with David Reynolds into turn one and that was all a little exciting.
“Then I was going to try and sneak up the inside of Frosty but locked a wheel and then locked both fronts. I was just doing everything to avoid him obviously, and unfortunately pushed him wide, which I felt very bad about, I was very happy when I saw him get the win actually.
“I stayed out as long as I could on the soft tyres, the car hung in there well but we’re just not outright fast enough at the moment.”
"It was a good fun race,” says Winterbottom.
“It was nice to race clean with Shane (van Gisbergen) in the end and we were both pushing hard.
“Will was the dark horse, you didn’t really know where he was, it was just a really good race and nice to come away with a win and fix our issues from last year.
"We did struggle here last year and I think we’ve proven we’ve come a very long way as a team and it’s a really nice car to drive."
Mark Winterbottom (#5 Orrcon Steel FPR Ford – 1st)
"It is great for Ford to get a 1-2-3 today. It was nice to race clean with Shane (van Gisbergen) at the end for the win and we were both right on the edge out of turn six.
“Will was the dark horse due to his strategy and overall it was just a great race and I am pleased that we’ve fixed so many of the issues we had here last year.
“Racing here is physically quite easy but when the first lap is as exciting as it was today it raises the temperature quickly. I drove well and used the strategy I had, though this weekend’s format throws so many different options up so it gets interesting seeing how everyone interprets it.”
Shane van Gisbergen (#9 SP Tools Falcon – 2nd)
“In Race 2 it was all on at the start, I went back to fifth and then on turn three I popped out in second. All the hard tyre guys pitted on the first lap and then we got going. I pushed quite hard, probably a little too hard and I saw Mark (Winterbottom) was sort of pacing as I pulled away.
“In the end I got held up by a lapper a few times but that wasn’t the ultimate reason we came second. Mark put a pretty good pass on in the last lap and it was a pretty good race from where I was sitting.
“My car was quite good, nice to drive and we just need to make the tyres a little bit better. Most of that is in my driving by being a bit nicer in the first few laps on the softs."
Will Davison (#6 Tradingpost FPR Ford – 3rd)
I base my pace on Frosty and those around me and they were obviously a bit quicker than me.
“We maximised the strategy we had today but we just weren’t really fast enough even though we were faster than a lot. I base my pace on Frosty and those around me and they were obviously a bit quicker than me.
“The start was interesting as I got boxed in and then I locked a wheel trying to pass Frosty which got interesting for a moment and that was a shame and we’ve had a chat about it.
“Tyre life was strong but I needed a bit more rear grip. We are trying a lot of stuff but with a few tweaks hopefully we can be right up there tomorrow.”
Jamie Whincup (#1 TeamVodafone Commodore - 5th)
“I got off to a great start but it all ended when I locked up and almost took all of my mechanics out in the pit lane. Tomorrow’s another day.”