The biggest mover: Frosty's Saturday salvage job

  • Repco Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 11/07/2021
  • By James Pavey

Mark Winterbottom was "happy" to produce a comeback effort in Saturday’s NTI Townsville 500 opener.

Winterbottom qualified 21st for the 88-lap race, which was his worst ever qualifying effort in Townsville.

Starting from the 11th row, the 2015 champion rose five places in the opening five laps.

Ninth loomed as a likely result before Winterbottom was demoted to 10th by former teammate Cameron Waters.

While he ceded sixth in the standings to Nick Percat, Winterbottom was pleased to recover a top 10 result.

"We qualified 21st, so we had a lot of cars to pass in front and we ended the day inside the top ten with a 10th-place result," he said.

"We salvaged the day so we’ve got to be happy with that.

"We'll sit back and tune the car tonight and come again tomorrow.

"Our goal will be to qualify further up the grid and use our pace to race forwards from there."

The news wasn’t as rosy for teammate Scott Pye, whose steering arm failure robbed him of a potential top five finish.

Pye, who started 12th, was ninth before he made his first compulsory stop.

However, he suffered a broken steering arm after a heavy run over the kerbs at Turns 7 and 8.

His car was repaired and he returned to the race, and was classified 23rd.

"We qualified okay and managed to save a set of tyres for the race in P12, with some green tyres up our sleeve to come home on," he said.

"At the start of the final stint we were looking for a P5 or P6 finish before we snapped a steering arm.

"It’s disappointing, but it’s one of those things.

"The street circuits are hard on the cars and we got unlucky, so with 20 or 30 laps to go, sitting where we were in sixth we felt like we were on for a sure thing, but it wasn’t to be."

Cars will return to the track for Race 15 qualifying at 10:10am AEST on Sunday.

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