26 | 04 | 2014 - POINTS LEAD IN PUKE
Ford Pepsi Max Crew?s Mark Winterbottom is the new V8 Supercars Championship leader after a dominant display on Saturday at the ITM 500 Auckland in New Zealand.
Frosty won from second on the grid in the day?s first race before moving from fourth to second in the final race ? the double podium earning him enough points to hold a two-point gap at the top.
In a strong day for the team he was joined on the podium in the opening race by Chaz who earned his first rostrum as a factory driver by claiming third.
His second race was compromised by qualifying 23rd after a red flag-induced delay robbed him of the chance at a lap.
Thankfully his obvious car pace and mature driving saw him finish 16th.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Qualifying Race 11: 2nd
Result Race 11: 1st
Qualifying Race 12: 3rd
Result Race 12: 2nd
?It was an awesome day. The Pepsi Max Ford was really strong and I really enjoyed the last few laps. A great car here is a joy to drive. A win and second is ideal. Trying to pass here is incredibly tough so you had to make very concerted moves at the hairpin which thankfully I had the car under me to do. I tried to run Shane (van Gisbergen) down but second in the last race was ideal and has given us the championship lead. We?ve fought back well and in the last few events we?ve caught up the deficit and turned it into a lead. Tomorrow?s race is important though as there is a big haul of points on offer. There is a long way to go in the year but I am happiest leading the points so we plan to stay where we are.?
Chaz Mostert - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
Qualifying Race 11: 3rd
Result Race 11: 3rd
Qualifying Race 12: 23rd
Result Race 12: 16th
?It was a fantastic day especially after finishing 21st yesterday and being a bit lost with the car. We had an awesome run in the first qualifying but the second with the red flag delay really harmed up. I was nervous in the first race given it was the highest I?ve been on the grid since joining the team and wanted to keep the potential podium I knew we were good enough to get. I held onto third once Jamie (Whincup) made a mistake and I got by so it is a great reward to get our first trophy and give something back to the crew who?ve worked so hard all year. In the last race we did what we could from 23rd but to finish 16th was more than I expected so if we qualify well tomorrow I think we can challenge for the podium again.?
Tim Edwards ? Team Principal:
?Today was another step forward in our overall team performance and to end with a win, second place, third place and the points lead is not far off the ideal day. The gains in qualifying speed we wanted happened today and the improved results were obvious. I am very pleased for the whole team and our sponsor group that we?ve been able to enjoy some success but we now need to maintain this positive momentum and aim for more of the same in tomorrow?s longer race where a lot more factors will come into play.?
ITM 500 AUCKLAND RESULTS
1) Mark Winterbottom ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
2) James Courtney ? HRT
3) Chaz Mostert ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
4) Jamie Whincup ? Triple Eight
5) Shane van Gisbergen ? Tekno
1) Shane van Gisbergen ? Tekno
2) Mark Winterbottom ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
3) Scott McLaughlin ? GRM
4) Jamie Whincup ? Triple Eight
5) Garth Tander ? HRT
16) Chaz Mostert ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Mark Winterbottom ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 791 points
2) Craig Lowndes ? Triple Eight: 789
3) Fabian Coulthard ? Brad Jones Racing: 740
4) James Courtney ? HRT: 718
5) Jamie Whincup ? Triple Eight: 697
18) Chaz Mostert ? Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 398
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Triple Eight: 1511 points
2) Brad Jones Racing: 1230
3) Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 1214