Winterbottom completes Prodrive's Winton sweep

  • Virgin Australia Supercars Championship
  • |
  • 17/05/2015
  • By V8 Supercars

Mark Winterbottom has taken Sunday's win and the Championship lead at the NP300 Navara Winton SuperSprint, continuing Prodrive's dominant streak at the Victorian circuit.

Winterbottom started on the front row alongside teammate Chaz Mostert, both on the hard Dunlop tyre - again running the same strategy despite that call working against the team at the last round in Perth.

A handful of cars, including three of the Walkinshaw racers and Craig Lowndes, who started eighth, elected to start on the soft tyre, throwing a strategy variable in early on.

The FG X's have had the speed all weekend and while Mostert looked destined to run away with it - with an intense battle between he and Craig Lowndes as Mostert dived for the lead early on - an error from the young star saw him drop a wheel off the track at the exit of turn three and throw his car into the tyre barrier, getting stuck with the rear off the ground and drawing a safety car on lap 33 of 67.

The cars poured into the pits and similarly to Perth, those who had planned to recycle the soft tyre were disadvantaged from there on.

It was tight up the front as Winterbottom, Fabian Coulthard and Lowndes were the key players in the closing stages - but Winterbottom managed to hold off Coulthard's Commodore and complete a dream run for the blue oval.

"Fabs had a big push, I tried to save the tyre and it came back which was surprising," Winterbottom said.

"I'm so proud of the boys back at the workshop, great result and they've done a great job."

He won the Sunday race at Winton last year, as well as a thrilling mixed tyre battle in Darwin - next on the calendar - so Winterbottom is hoping the team will continue the roll.

"We'll try and repeat what we're doing - it's a good time at Prodrive at the moment, good to be involved."

Coulthard thought he had an opportunity to pass a few laps from the end, but was pleased to again pull up in the top three in a Sunday race. He moves from fifth to third in the Championship.

"We give it our best shot there was a moment there a few laps from the end - that was my chance. To come through the field like we did we should be leaving here pretty happy."

It hasn't been an easy run for Red Bull and while there were doubts about Lowndes' tyre life, he hung on for third and is now trailing Winterbottom by 12 points. Click here for Championship points.

"We were one of very few that opted to start on soft tyre... and got back onto it earlier than we would've liked.

"Car speed's really good, I can't complain ... congratulations to Frosty and the guys. We've got some work to do but looking forward to Darwin next."

Michael Caruso came home fourth recording another great race for Nissan, and Garth Tander - who also started on the soft tyre - put in an impressive race, finishing fifth after starting 17.

Scott Pye recorded a top 10 finish for DJR Team Penske, home in eighth and Jamie Whincup just made tenth after starting 22nd.

Click here for full results.

The V8 Supercars are next on track at the SKYCITY Triple Crown in Darwin from June 19-21.

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