FROSTY SCUPPERED AS HOMEBUSH BITES
Ford Pepsi Max Crew?s championship tilt came to an abrupt end at Sydney Olympic Park as Mark survived an early race incident which caused substantial damage to the right-rear of his car only to be forced out after being punted into the wall in the closing laps.
Will was the best performer for the team and avoided all the carnage to finish fifth.
Despite being disappointed with his car speed he scored enough points to move ahead of his team-mate into third in the standings.
Mark qualified on the front row and led away from the line only to have to cede position to a sliding Jamie Whincup at turn one.
The loss of momentum dropped him to fourth and from there his day never improved. Accidental contact with Craig Lowndes led to a multi-car incident involving FPR team-mate David Reynolds who also sustained damage but was able to continue.
Mark?s day eventually ended after he was pushed into the wall when taking avoiding action behind Tony D?Alberto who made contact with the tyre wall.
His zero point score means he is now mathematically unable to win the championship.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Top 10 Shootout: 2nd
?Today obviously didn?t end as we?d planned. I thought Jamie was going into the fence on turn one but we all got away with it somehow but I took a knock to the front and after another similar one from Shane it knocked the steering out so from lap two it wasn?t the easiest car to drive. I am not sure what happened with Craig and obviously it wasn?t intentional but that certainly didn?t aid either of us. That incident also bent the steering more and then I got caught up in the concertina when Tony D?Alberto bounced of the fence and Jason Bright accidently got into me behind.?
Will Davison - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Top 10 Shootout: 6th
?I knew moving to third overall was achievable and while the ultimate goal for the team was for Mark to win, things went really wrong and that has enabled me to jump up a spot. He and Jamie raced hard and I managed to jump a spot there but I got banked up under the safety car and got caught out in pit lane which cost me track position. All I could do was survive the race and I really didn?t enjoy it as we struggled for balance and speed and it was hard work out there. We salvaged a good result and that is important but the focus now is to get a car we can challenge with. I couldn?t push any harder which was disappointing but we will fight on tomorrow and try and win the race.?
Edwards ? FPR Team Principal:
?Homebush dealt out its usual heavy hits today and unfortunately we took a lot of them. It was a cruel end for Mark to what has been an amazing fight back since he was forced out of lap one of race one of the year. He is rightly disappointed but tomorrow he has the chance to end the year on a high, as does Will who must be commended for avoiding the chaos and brining a car home he was not entirely happy with. We will forget today and go again tomorrow and hopefully give all the Ford fans something to cheer about.?
PHILLIP ISLAND 360
RACE 35 RESULTS:
1) Jamie Whincup ? Triple Eight
2) Jonathon Webb - Tekno
3) Shane van Gisbergen ? Tekno
5) Will Davison ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
DNF) Mark Winterbottom ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AFTER RACE 35
1) Jamie Whincup ? Triple Eight: 2965 points
2) Craig Lowndes ? Triple Eight: 2855
3) Will Davison ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 2703
4) Mark Winterbottom ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 2691
5) Fabian Coulthard ? Brad Jones Racing: 2441
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AFTER RACE 35
1) Triple Eight: 5860 points
2) Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 5419
3) Brad Jones Racing: 4729