FROSTY CROWNED KING IN SYDNEY
PRODRIVE RACING AUSTRALIA – COATES HIRE SYDNEY 500 SATURDAY WRAP
Prodrive Racing (Australia)'s Mark Winterbottom has won his maiden V8 Supercars title after a stellar 2015 season. With one race still to be run, Winterbottom holds a 220 point lead over Craig Lowndes after a strong day on track. Frosty's winning day started with pole position in race 34 and a visit from teammate and Armour All Pole Award winner Chaz Mostert. An excellent start over Shane van Gisbergen saw him lead into turn one but eventually finish fifth after problems with the rear of the car. His result in race 34 was enough to push his lead over Craig Lowndes to out to 204 points with only 225 left to earn. After starting in fourth place for race 35, Mark's stellar start saw him advance to 3rd where he stayed for the remainder of the race, a position that would win him the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship.
Mark's endurance series co-driver Steve Owen was thrilled to be a part of his championship, but had an unlucky day on track himself. Owen ran a clean race to advance three spots to 20th in the first ever race at Sydney Olympic Park not to feature a safety car, but an engine sensor failure early in the race saw him sidelined for the remainder. The Bottle-O Racing's David Reynolds had a fantastic start in race 34, jumping from 19th to 12th after the first few laps. He eventually made up spots to finish ninth. A front row start and consistent racing saw Reynolds finish on the second step of the podium in race 35 to record his seventh podium for the season. Chris Pither finished right where he started in race 34, ending the race in 23rd position before improving to finish 18th in race 35. While the championship has been decided, the team will return to the track on Sunday to tackle 250kms in what is expected to be hot, tough conditions.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max PRA Ford:
Race 34: 5th
Race 35: 3rd
"I'm speechless to be honest, it hasn't really sunk in. Everything that you've ever raced to get here has been an achievement whether it was karting to get into the category, and then the DVS (championship) and then Bathurst as well. To win this, I've been trying for so many years and I've stayed at the one team for such a long time as well. To do it and see the crew's reaction when you come in, it's years of work to do it and it makes you respect people like Jamie (Whincup) more to win six, the week and the drama it crazy and to win one is fantastic. It's awesome to be part of V8 Supercars history. It's nice to be rewarded for the year that the team's had."
Steve Owen - #6 Pepsi Max PRA Ford:
Race 34: 20th
Race 35: 15th
"The car broke a crank angle sensor in that last race so no real damage but the car was better before that than it had been all day. The most important thing is that we got the job done championship wise. Tomorrow we should be able to hopefully have a good run and the team's championship is pretty close so hopefully we can bring it home. Frosty and I had a really good endurance season, obviously it's nice to get those runs on the board and I'll be with these guys again next year and continuity is a big key to success but it's just so good to see him win it."
David Reynolds - #55 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Race 34: 9th
Race 35: 5th
"The car started to vibrate a bit when it was smoking in that last race but it could have been pick-up or something like that because the track was pretty bad at turn 10 and every time you went around there it was a bit of a lucky dip so maybe I caught some rubber but I'm not really sure. I hit something on the right side but not the left side. It was good to start in that position and finish well and get another podium for the year. It's pretty cool to watch it all happen. I've been a part of the same team and I know how all the boys at the workshop must feel pretty special right now because they've all played a massive part in it over the last 10 years of his career. It's pretty special to watch."
Chris Pither - #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
Race 34: 23rd
Race 35: 23rd
"I think to be honest we didn't string it together perfectly in qualifying. There were quite a lot of cars that ended up in the fence and hindered my flying lap. I just need to focus and getting a clean lap together in qualifying tomorrow but overall today I think race one was a bit of a write off, I didn't qualify well enough and I was struggling a lot with rear break locking. We found a couple of quite obvious things between races to change in my driving technique to eliminate that and that made a big difference in race two. I was really happy with the progress we made. Would still like to be further up than 18th but I think we showed a lot more potential in race two. I'm looking forward to getting back out there in the Super Black Racing Falcon and getting some results."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"At the moment it's just a huge sense of relief. It's been 10 years in the making and a lot of hard work, a lot of tears, a lot of highs and lows and to finally get it done is just a huge sense of relief. I don't think I took a breath for the last 30 minutes of that race. It's unbelievable, I'm just so proud of everybody. It's been a lot of hard work by a lot of people. People have been asking what our advantage was this year, well our advantage was the 60-odd people that work for us."
Race 1: 8th
Prodrive Racing Australia's Cameron Waters has finished eighth in a race dominated by safety car. Waters was running in the top three before an argument with the tyre wall on his fast lap caused a red flag, while preventing him from using his fastest time or returning to the track in that session. Waters second fastest time saw him start 12th in race one before making his way up the field under minimal green flag laps. Waters now has a 89 point lead over Paul Dumbrell ahead of tomorrow's final race.
Cameron Waters - #5 ENZED PRA Ford:
"I had an alright day. In qualifying I rolled out on old tyres and the car was pretty good. We tuned it up a little bit for the green tyre run and the car felt a lot different but I made a little mistake at turn seven and I went through the tyres. The car was fine but it brought out the red flag. I lost the time and couldn't take any further part in the session. I started 13th and the race was all under safety car pretty much so I got to eighth. The championship is still alive; I've just got to qualify better."
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
2) Shane van Gisbergen - Tekno
3) Jason Bright – Brad Jones Racing
4) James Courtney - HRT
5) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing
9) David Reynolds – The Bottle-O Racing Team
20) Steve Owen – Prodrive Racing
23) Chris Pither – Super Black Racing
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
2) David Reynolds – The Bottle-O Racing Team
3) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing
4) James Courtney - HRT
5) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport
18) Chris Pither – Super Black Racing
DNF) Steve Owen – Prodrive Racing
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 3126
2) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2906
3) David Reynolds – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 2799
4) Shane Van Gisbergen – Tekno: 2562
5) Garth Tander –HRT: 2512
32) Steve Owen – Prodrive Racing: 706
50) Chris Pither – Super Black Racing: 264
1) Triple Eight: 5450
2) Pepsi Max Crew: 5434
3) HRT: 5050