Winterbottom reveals cause of 'cruel' last lap DNF

09 Oct
'I know you’ll be thinking, wait he was 11th with one lap to go how did he DNF'
  • Winterbottom/Caruso DNF with 160 laps on the board

  • Fuel light came on in Winterbottom car and 2013 winner pitted

  • Pit exit closed as leader started final lap, consigning Winterbottom to DNF

A late splash-and-dash proved costly for Mark Winterbottom, Michael Caruso and Team 18, with the #18 DEWALT Camaro not classified as a finisher.

Winterbottom was running 11th late in Sunday’s Repco Bathurst 1000, which was won by Shane van Gisbergen, Richie Stanaway and Red Bull Ampol Racing.

The fuel light came on in the #18 Chevrolet, and Winterbottom jumped into the lane for a splash of fuel to make it home.

However, leader van Gisbergen crossed the finish line as Winterbottom approached pit exit, which was closed.

Winterbottom couldn’t complete the final lap and wasn’t classified as a finisher, after six hours of toil.


It was the first Bathurst DNF for Winterbottom since 2017, and the first for Caruso since 2018.

"I know you’ll be thinking, wait he was 11th with one lap to go how did he DNF,” Winterbottom posted to social media. 

"With three laps to go my pit for fuel light came on, I was called in for fuel on the last lap, but the leader crossed the finish line before I exited pit lane so the light went red and pit lane closed. 

"As I didn’t complete the last lap I wasn’t classified a finisher. As for our week, my crew did a brilliant job of preparing the car and executing an enormous amount of changes, but in this sport if one person makes a mistake it is very costly. 

"It feels cruel for us all to have raced all day and not come away with a finishing position.”

The Winterbottom/Caruso Chevrolet wasn’t the only car to suffer late heartbreak, with the Todd Hazelwood/Tim Blanchard Ford also ruled out due to a starter motor issue.

The starter motor dropped out of the bottom of the car, triggering a mechanical black flag before ultimately consigning the #3 CoolDrive Ford to retirement with 156 laps on the board.

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