Winterbottom takes Mostert's lead

  • 24/08/2014
  • By V8 Supercars
  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Mark Winterbottom has found himself back in the pack again after the day's 20-minute qualifying session at Sydney Motorsport Park.

The Ford Pepsi Max star - who lost the Championship lead at the last event - starts from 15th on the grid, while his main rival Jamie Whincup is ahead in sixth, and young teammate Chaz Mostert in tenth.

Finishing 11th and 12th yesterday, Winterbottom has been off the pace at the 3.93km Sydney circuit.

"What do you do - you just try to survive really and hopefully you can fix it and try to get our speed back," Winterbottom told v8supercars.com.au after Sunday qualifying.

"It's pretty hard, you're trying to develop the car but not throw points away and stuff, it's a bit tough. I think I'm driving ok, just not getting results."

Winterbottom's engineer Grant McPherson is absent today, having been struck down with glandular fever, with Frosty's former engineer Campbell Little returning to the team to sub for the weekend.

After the 20-minute run in the dry, Winterbottom said the car felt slightly better.

"I actually made some changes then to copy Chaz's setup a bit.

"But then you go out with one lap and one set of tyres and you don't really know what you can get. Now I think we can tune that car into a better car than I had - it's actually not too bad, but I made a meal of the last couple of corners too - there was probably a couple of tenths there that were ten grid spots or something.

"But at least it starts to feel a bit better and the car makes a bit more sense, because yesterday was just not doing anything."

With one set of Dunlop soft tyres in the mix for this afternoon's 200km, teams may have to gamble, with limited running in dry conditions at the circuit.

"No one's really done a long race run - we don't know tyre degradation numbers and that sort of stuff, so it's hard to know where you're at. Just sort it out in the race, I guess," Winterbottom said.

Volvo's Scott McLaughlin starts Race 28 from ARMOR ALL Pole Position, with Lockwood Racing's Fabian Coulthard alongside on the front row.

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