Winterbottom wanting to extract the most from his SBR Falcon at Eastern Creek this weekend. Despite the fact that he has only ever done a couple of laps around the circuit in an old Formula Vee, championship leader Mark Winterbottom is hoping to...
Winterbottom wanting to extract the most from his SBR Falcon at Eastern Creek this weekend.
Despite the fact that he has only ever done a couple of laps around the circuit in an old Formula Vee, championship leader Mark Winterbottom is hoping to display the full potential of his Milligans Food Group AU Ford Falcon in the second round of the Konica V8 Supercar Series at Eastern Creek in Sydney this weekend.
That's an ominous suggestion for rival drivers as the 21 year-old eyes his third consecutive win in his debut season in his Stone Brothers Racing Falcon - hoping to orchestrate a comfortable lead at the halfway point of the series.
"The layout of Eastern Creek, with its long straights, should see us exceed about 270kph which is a lot faster than what we've been able to achieve in the earlier rounds," said Winterbottom, whose car also carries major sponsorship from Bosch, Caltex Havoline and Pirtek.
"It's a technical circuit and we'll be going hard into the turns where I think a lot of time can be made up and then it's just a matter of the car doing the rest."
It could very well turn out to be a successful homecoming for Winterbottom who grew up just two minutes from the Sydney circuit.
However he concedes that most of his rivals will have a distinct advantage during qualifying, as he looks to continue his perfect start to the year.
"It'll be an accelerated learning curve during practice," said Winterbottom.
"But while my driving time at Eastern Creek has been limited to two laps around the circuit in a Formula Vee about five years ago, I know the layout like the back of my hand.
"The Stone Brothers Racing team has been faultless in their approach to this season and have provided a good base set-up to work from and I will be giving it a good go.
"We all know that this is the race where we can really cement our position on top and that's where my focus lies right now."
Winterbottom has exceeded even his own expectations in 2003 after initially banking on a top-five finish to his debut season.
But despite early indicators pointing towards a possible championship victory, he's not getting ahead of himself.
"Improvement is the big thing for the team at the moment and it's great to be able to hop into the car and know it won't let me down," said Winterbottom.
"What that does say to me though is that if the car is travelling so well, I'm the one who has to dictate that improvement and be searching for a better run every time we go out on the track."