Winterbottom, Tander win Saturday SuperGP races
Today’s first two 150km V8 Supercar races on the streets of Surfers Paradise did not disappoint today, with plenty of action on the streets of Surfers Paradise for the third day of the 2009 Nikon SuperGP.
|Garth Tander leads Mark Winterbottom during the second race - both drivers secured a win and a runner-up spot today|
Mark Winterbottom continued his blistering pace of yesterday by placing his #5 Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon on pole after the Top Ten Shootout this morning before taking victory in the opening 150km stanza, with the Holden Racing Team pair of Garth Tander and Will Davison in third.
Winterbottom started on pole for leg two with Tander beside, however after a frenetic start Tander was able to take the lead and maintain that position through a safety car-free 34 laps to claim the victory this afternoon. Will Davison was third.
"It’s been a good weekend, we qualified on pole this morning and then won the first race and took second this afternoon, so given where we were a few days ago (Winterbottom has been battling a glandular illness this week) I think we are in a pretty good place," said Winterbottom in this afternoon’s post race two press conference.
"It is a good result for the guys, a lot of the time this year we have been able to show speed but not take home the result, so it is good to get a surfboard today – all of the teams want a surfboard, so we are happy to take this one home tonight and try for another one tomorrow."
With Winterbottom and Tander both claiming a first and second position today, the pair have so far scored equal points for the weekend as the field stares down a further two 150km races tomorrow.
"The race went really well this afternoon, we were able to get into the lead early and pull a gap, and then we were just trying to control the race at the end," said Tander.
"The whole time I was waiting for the inevitable safety car and it didn’t come, so it was great to be able to control the race like that and come home with the win.
"For me in the championship I am still a way off so I’m just going to go and win as many races as I can, for me its just a matter of me going and doing my own thing, stay out of trouble, and score a heap of points.
"You know it would be great to finish one two for the team with the championship, it’s been a pretty successful year so far so we’re in this with a chance, for me I’ve got a bit of work to do yet, but you know as we saw today, anything is possible."
Reigning champion and current title leader Jamie Whincup still maintains the championship lead ahead of Will Davison (2513) and Tander (2182) on 2554 points.
The Gold Coaster had a hard day at his local track, finishing the first race in 13th after starting third, with a flat rear tire after an altercation with Jason Bright early in the race seeing him have to fight his way back through the field – a battle that continued in the second race in which he came home eighth in front of a crowd of 58,823.
“Again, I think this was another solid day for attendances and action on track,” said event General Manager, Greg Hooton.
“If we get another great day of weather tomorrow, I think the action on track today will stimulate a terrific Sunday crowd.
“The whole event has also had a very solid family feel and that is also very pleasing. It is great to see them out supporting the V8 Supercars.
“The work by our team is continuing around the clock to finish off the event with the best result possible.”
Also on track today was the third session of the Pirtek Australian Legends, as well as the second races for the Strategic Airlines Formula Ford and Haymans Electrical Mini Challenge while the Aussie Racing Cars enjoyed their third race.
Mitch Evans has continued to dominate in Strategic Airlines Formula Ford, crossing the line ahead of Richie Stanaway and Ash Walsh, while in the Aussie Racing Cars David Lawrence did the same with Kyle Clews and Maurice Masini in second and third. The Haymans Electrical MINI Challenge saw some more scintillating racing, with Chris Alajajian, Paul Stokell and Ryan Hansford the first three to take the checkered flag.
Tomorrow’s final day of Nikon SuperGP action will see a further two 150km races (11.05am and 3.05pm) after qualifying in the morning (9.15am), as well as the final races for the three support categories, the recreation of Sir Jack Brabham’s 1959 championship win (2.25pm) and plenty of ontrack entertainment.