Red-hot Ford driver Mark Winterbottom continues to close in on a maiden V8 Supercars championship after another day of dominance on Saturday.
The Prodrive Racing Australia star nabbed back-to-back wins in both 20-lap sprint events at Queensland Raceway to move 265 points clear at the top of the championship ladder.
Winterbottom jumped teammate Chaz Mostert on the line at the start of Saturday’s opening race before streaking away to a comfortable victory.
He then held off Red Bull Racing’s Craig Lowndes – his main championship rival – in an intriguing battle in the second race to complete a perfect day.
It means Winterbottom has won four races on the trot for the first time in his V8s career.
He’s also claimed eight of the past 13 races to storm clear of his rivals.
“Any win in our sport you’ve got to celebrate and, to get four in a row, Chaz said ‘have you ever done it before?’ and I said ‘I’ve never won four in a season, let alone four in a row’,” Winterbottom said.
“We’re going good and you’ve just got to enjoy it. You never write these guys off (Red Bull). They’ve proven it again. They’ve bounced back and we’ve just got to stay on our game and keep doing what I’m doing.”
Lowndes himself had a strong day to minimise the amount by which Winterbottom extended his lead.
The 41-year-old snatched a podium in the first race when he blew past Mostert and Shane van Gisbergen on the final lap as that pair tussled for third position.
He then pressured Winterbottom throughout the second race – which he started from pole – to suggest he’s far from finished in the championship hunt.
“We’ve got a bit of work to do but we’re still working at it. It’s coming together – it’s really good,” Lowndes said.
Mostert’s third-placed finish in the second race has lifted him to third on the championship standings with Holden’s Fabian Coulthard dropping to sixth after a poor day.
The Ipswich SuperSprint wraps up on Sunday with a final 65-lap, 200km race.