BATHURST, Australia — Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards took Bathurst by storm, taking the biggest victory in the Ford Performance Racing (FPR) team’s history.
The pair maintained the lead in their group all day but the critical final pit stop became the moment of truth for Winterbottom, when he came out just a few meters ahead of his main opponent Jamie Whincup.
The duo was never more than a second apart for the last third of the race. Winterbottom fought back hard against Whincup’s final lap lunge and took away the team’s first ever triumph at Mouth Panorama.
“Today was just unbelievable. The way the race unfolded and to win it the way we did and alongside Richo just makes it that more special. Doing it with this team and Ford is a reward for a lot of people for many years of hard work. The response on the podium was just ridiculous to see all those fans and the sea of blue Ford flags, to hear them chanting FPR was something I will never forget,” Winterbottom said
“The team has been written off a few times but today was the ultimate way to bounce back and prove our doubters wrong. The final few laps were incredibly close and on the last lap I knew if I could hold the inside line at turn two I would be ok. Then coming down Conrod Straight I knew we had won the race, I knew it was ours so that was a really sweet moment. I really can’t say enough about Steve and his effort today. He was happier in the car than me today and drove incredibly well. To win the Peter Brock Trophy with him and FPR after so many years of trying is the best thing ever.”
Will Davison and Steve Owen’s team finished up in seventh place after grappling with a vehicle that was mishandling for the second half of the race.
David Reynolds and Dean Canto missed out on a top five position because they were forced to pit in the final laps for a splash of fuel and finished up in ninth place. Alex Davison and John McIntyre made it to a credible 13th place after leading the race for a while having started in 26th place.
The FPR team crosses the finish line.
Mark Winterbottom and Steven Richards are number 1.