Ford’s Mark Winterbottom has ignited his V8 Supercars championship bid with victory in the opening race of this weekend’s event in Perth.
The Prodrive Racing Australia driver secured victory in the 25-lap race at Barbagallo Raceway after jumping past pole-holder Chaz Mostert at the race start and then holding off his teammate to secure the win by half a second.
It’s Winterbottom’s first win since the last race of the Darwin round last year and with the 2013 Bathurst champion holding pole position for Saturday’s second race, he’s eyeing off double success.
“It’s good to get a win, you need that for the confidence,” Winterbottom told Fox Sports.
“We’ll see how we go.”
Mostert, who had earlier secured the first pole position of his career, came in second ahead of Holden veteran Craig Lowndes.
Lowndes, still waiting for an unprecedented 100th V8 career race win, still ended the race leading the championship after teammate Jamie Whincup and Holden rival James Courtney both endured tough races.
Whincup, starting from a lowly 21st, eventually came home 16th and will be hoping for a better result in Saturday’s second race which he will start from second on the grid.
Courtney continued his run of outs in Perth, limping home to a 10th place finish.
The race was a shocker for Courtney’s teammate Garth Tander, with the WA local forced to retire just nine laps in with a broken rear wheel hub.
Saturday’s action wraps up with a second 60km race starting at 3.15pm (1715AEST).