– V8 Supercars
Mark Winterbottom has won his first Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, boldly leading Jamie Whincup home.
The Pepsi Max Crew FPR driver, and co-driver Steven Richards, also delivered FPR its first Bathurst win, right after Ford announced its continued support of the team yesterday.
This marks Richards’ third win at Mount Panorama, and was taken by just 0.47 seconds.
“We’ve finally done it!” team boss Tim Edwards declared on the podium.
But the fight didn’t stop there.
The last 20 laps of the race were intense, with the fight for third a hot one.
Craig Lowndes exchanged places with Garth Tander and Jason Bright – and David Reynolds bought into the battle, before having to pit late for fuel. Lowndes finished on the third step, holding out the Holden Racing Team and BOC drivers.
Behind Winterbottom/Richards, Whincup/Paul Dumbrell just missed out, and were followed by Lowndes/Warren Luff, Tander/Nick Percat, Reynolds/Dean Canto, Scott Pye/Paul Morris, Will Davison/Steve Owen, Scott McLaughlin/Jack Perkins, Shane van Gisbergen/Jeroen Bleekemolen in the top 10.
Others to note include Xbox wildcard international drivers Andy Priaulx/Mattias Ekstrom in 11th, Lee Holdsworth/Craig Baird – yet again the highest placed Mercedes-Benz in an enduro in 14th, and James Moffat/Taz Douglas the first Nissan home in 18th.
There were just two Safety Car periods in the 161-lap race, one early on when Jack Daniel’s Nissan driver David Russell hit a kangaroo, and mid-way when four-time winner Greg Murphy met the wall at 135km/h at Reid Park, ending his and James Courtney’s day.
Whincup continues to lead the Championship from Lowndes, Winterbottom improves to third ahead of teammate Will Davison, and Fabian Coulthard – despite finishing 16th – jumps up to fifth.
More to come from Mount Panorama.