The Pepsi Max Crew officially claimed the V8 Supercars Championship today as the 2015 season drew to a close in Sydney with newly-crowned champion Mark Winterbottom cruising to fourth in the season finale while young team-mate Cameron Waters claimed his and the team’s first Dunlop Series title.
Winterbottom started and finished fourth in an issue-free race free of the stresses of championship contention, though stand-in team-mate Steve Owen had a troubled day with electrical gremlins which put him out of contention.
With Winterbottom’s title already sealed the highlight of the final day of the season was young gun Cameron Waters claiming the second-tier Dunlop Series crown after a second place finish ensured he finished 77 points ahead of defending champion, Paul Dumbrell.
The 21-year-old fought back tears in an emotional post-race interview as he was embraced by his parents and crew. The rising star had a dominant season, winning 10 of the 16 races and claiming the series pole position award.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max PRA Ford:
Top 10 Shootout: 4th
"It's probably the first time in three months that you've actually been able to enjoy racing again without mathematically trying to do the best scenario and stuff so it's cool. I bent the bonnet. The guys had a lot of pride in that bonnet and I've smashed it. It was a lot of fun that race. I lost a bit in the pit stop and stuff but at the end it was actually quite good. It was nice to finish the year on a track that is similar to where we will start next year as well so it was a good weekend but today was awesome. The morale of the team as well was really cool."
Cameron Waters - #5 ENZED PRA Ford (Dunlop Series Champion):
"It's awesome. I was hoping to wrap it up yesterday but I made a mistake so that dragged it out a little bit but it was the longest 17 laps of my life. I managed to bring it home and win the championship so I'm absolutely ecstatic. I'm really excited for the team. It's been a massive effort. It's always good to come to a street track with a bit of a buffer but one DNF can throw that out the window. I made a mistake in qualifying and put myself on the back foot and being a street circuit anything can happen so I just had to get through today and make sure I finished and wrap it up so I couldn't be happier."
Steve Owen - #6 Pepsi Max PRA Ford:
"Today was a bit of a tough day in the office for me. We carried over some electrical issues from yesterday which became evident early in the race and having a little run in with Ales Davison didn't help the situation. The guys did an awesome job throughout the race to try and fix the issue and they did but unfortunately it just didn't go our way in the end. But this weekend has really been about Frosty and his win so it's great to be able be a part of that."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"What a year. It really was a team effort to get that championship. Everyone at track and back at the workshop did an amazing job all year to get us to this point. It was good to finish in a good position as well in the final race. We really couldn't be happier. Cam also did a fantastic job to take home the Dunlop Series championship. It must be something about car five this year with both of them taking the trophy home. It's great, it's really great."
1) Shane van Gisbergen - Tekno
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
3) Rick Kelly – Kelly Racing
4) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing
5) David Reynolds – The Bottle-O Racing Team
DNF) Steve Owen – Prodrive Racing
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS – FINAL
1) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 3246
2) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 3008
3) David Reynolds – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 2910
4) Shane Van Gisbergen – Tekno: 2712
5) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2647
11) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 2017
29) Steve Owen – Prodrive Racing: 706
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP – FINAL
1) Triple Eight: 5690
2) Pepsi Max Crew: 5554
3) HRT: 5191