Frosty celebrates first V8 title in Sydney

For six of the last seven years, Mark Winterbottom has had to watch Jamie Whincup lay down some rubber on the streets of Sydney Olympic Park.

But on Sunday evening the loyal Ford driver finally got his chance.

“The guys said just neck out, go as far forward as you can,” the freshly-crowned V8 Supercars champion said.

“They didn’t care about the engine – engine temp was on, oil temp was on, all the alerts were going off, but it was good fun.

“Burnouts are awesome.”

The 34-year-old already had his maiden title wrapped up on Saturday with a conservatively-won podium in the second of two sprint races.

But he had to wait until Sunday’s season-ending 74-lap race was done and dusted to officially celebrate.

He ended the race fourth to finish the year 238 points clear of nearest rival Craig Lowndes.

Winterbottom’s phone was beeping endlessly with more than 130 messages on Saturday night; he even had Holden fans wearing rival Red Bull Racing shirts congratulating him.

“It’s nice when the opposition fans respect you as well,” he said.

It’s been more than a decade in the making, having started racing in the category full-time in 2004 and with Prodrive Racing Australia in 2006.

He got the ball rolling two years ago with a breakthrough Bathurst victory.

“To get the get the monkey off the back is really really good,” he said.

“It happened with Bathurst (in 2013), and then with Chaz winning it the next year, you start to believe that you can do these things.

“I think winning this year is great for the team as well.

“Whatever happens happens in the future, but our team have now won the championship and that’s really cool.

“It’s been a really long journey and the team can now say they’re V8 Supercars champions and it’s awesome to be involved.”

Winterbottom will unveil the new No.1 sticker on his Falcon FGX on Monday in Sydney, ahead of the V8 Supercars awards gala.

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