The Pepsi Max Crew will continue its battle for the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship into the Sydney 500 after narrowly missing out on the podium in the final race of the Phillip Island SuperSprint.
After starting on pole and making a fantastic start to lead the early laps of the race, championship leader Mark Winterbottom fell to third after the two mandatory pit stops.
While holding onto third position for majority of the race, a pass down the inside of turn nine by Jamie Whincup on the final lap saw him finish fourth.
Teammate Cam Waters had a battle on his hands early in the race after coming together with Rick Kelly at the hayshed on lap one.
A punctured tyre saw Waters enter the pits on the first lap to replace his front tyres.
From there the young-gun was unable to advance, eventually finishing 20th overall after starting 14th.
Winterbottom now leads race 33 winner Craig Lowndes by 179 points in the V8 Supercars championship.
#5 Pepsi Max PRA Ford – Mark Winterbottom:
Race 33: 4th
"I drove as hard as I could today. I walk away proud and I still feel confident. I'm super happy with the team. We had a lot of issues this weekend and to repair it and get the engine in and put it on pole today it's not that bad so finishing fourth is not as good as we expect from the team after this year but when you're not quick enough you have to do what you can do. I tried to hold on for third but he (Whincup) had a go and being seven tenths a lap slower I was just trying to hold on. We had a go and finished fourth."
#6 Pepsi Max PRA Ford – Cameron Waters:
Race 33: 20th
"I've had better days. Qualifying wasn't too bad I got held up which cost me a few tenths so that probably cost me a top ten qualifying result. In the race I got a really good start and then Rick (Kelly) and I went side-by-side through the hayshed and it was never going to work so we came together and went off the track. I got a flat tyre so I had to pit for that and put cold tyres on and it just didn't feel the same so I've had better days. Overall I've enjoyed my time in the FG X and doing the past three events in it but now I will change my focus back to my Dunlop Series car again for Sydney to finish off the year so hopefully I can use a little bit of that experience in Sydney."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"We're still leading the championship which is the main thing to take from this weekend. We've got a bit of work to do across the four cars before we go to Sydney to hopefully find a bit more speed but overall this weekend was pretty good. Cam got his first top-ten finish in V8 Supercars and Frosty's pair of fourth place finishes still puts him in a good position going into Sydney so we're still fairly confident."
1) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight
2) Scott McLaughlin – GRM
3) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
4) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing
5) Todd Kelly – Nissan Motorsport
20) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 3007
2) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2828
3) David Reynolds – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 2688
4) Garth Tander –HRT: 2495
5) Shane Van Gisbergen – Tekno: 2442
32) Cam Waters – Prodrive Racing: 595
1) Pepsi Max Crew: 5293
2) Triple Eight: 5222
3) HRT: 4877