26 | 10 | 2013 - DYNAMIC DUO SCRAPE THROUGH WITH PODIUM
Ford Pepsi Max Crew?s Mark Winterbottom has substantially closed the championship points gap after he and co-driver Steve Richards overcame a mid-pack grid slot to finish third in the opening Gold Coast 300 race.
Mark?s #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford finished with a number of battle scars and the Bathurst winner admitted he was lucky to finish after hitting a wall three laps from home.
He was forced to pit earlier than planned for his final stop due to his passenger-side window hanging loose but thanks to other results he is now just 49 points from new series leader, Craig Lowndes.
Team-mates Will and Steve Owen finished sixth though confirmation of their result is subject to a post-race investigation after Will made contact with his brother, Alex in the second half of the race.
Mark Winterbottom & Steven Richards - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Race Result: 3rd
?I don?t really know what happened when I lost the window. It popped out driving down the straight but I honestly can?t believe the car finished the race. It went through the wars today and I was touching tyre barriers and scraping walls and those concrete sleepers are just brutal. We ended up with a good result and it maybe could?ve been better if we didn?t have to pit out of sequence but thankfully we got the car home and after hitting a tyre bundle with three laps to go I am just relieved to finish.?
Will Davison & Steve Owen - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Race Result: 6th
?It was a crazy race and was the hardest sixth place I?ve had to work for. You can?t plan a strategy for a race like today and we unfortunately had to queue in the stop but it was more the timing of the safety car that really hurt me. It put us back in the pack and trying to get through was carnage. The touch with Alex played on my mind the whole race and I am shattered for him and his team. There was a lot of bumper-to-bumper racing. We pushed on and I was fast at the end and really to get sixth after starting 21st wasn?t all that bad.?
Tim Edwards ? FPR Team Principal:
?That was a tough day or racing so to come out of it with a podium and relatively undamaged cars is a blessing. The Gold Coast track is notorious for brutal racing and today proved no different. Thankfully we?ve tightened the championship gap even further so if we can sort out qualifying we will be much better placed for a similarly strong race tomorrow.?
GOLD COAST 600
RACE 30 RESULTS:
1) Craig Lowndes/Warren Luff ? Triple Eight
2) Shane van Gisbergen/Jeroen Bleekemolen ? Tekno
3) Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
4) Tony D?Alberto/Johny Reid ? TDR
5) Russell Ingall/Ryan Briscoe ? Walkinshaw
6) Will Davison/Steve Owen ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AFTER RACE 30
1) Craig Lowndes? Triple Eight: 2459 points
2) Jamie Whincup ? Triple Eight: 2423
3) Mark Winterbottom ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 2410
4) Will Davison ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 2344
5) Shane van Gisbergen ? Tekno: 2052
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AFTER RACE 30
1) Triple Eight: 4922 points
2) Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 4779
3) Brad Jones Racing: 3997