Image credit: Herald Sun.
Mark Winterbottom claimed his first victory of the 2015 season in race one of this weekends Perth Super Sprint.
The Prodrive Racing Australia driver was joined on the podium by team mate Chaz Mostert and Red Bull Racing Australia’s Craig Lowndes.
Prodrive’s 1-2 was secured in qualifying when Mostert beat Winterbottom to the pole by 0.060’s. The eventual race winner was able to overhaul Mostert off the line, tacking the lead round the outside at turn one.
Mostert never challenged his team mate for the victory, instead the two worked together to keep Lowndes from challenging for the victory. Lowndes was always in touching distance of the top two but the 40 year-old never really threatened the two Ford drivers for victory.
Despite missing out on his 100th race win, the podium did send Lowndes to the top of the Driver’s standings, eight points ahead of forth place finisher Shane van Gisbergen.
Van Gisbergen and fifth place finisher Jason Bright were both helped by Garth Tander’s retirement. The Holden Racing driver, who was on for a top five finish was forced to retire due to a left rear suspension problem.
Prodrive’s good start to the weekend continued when David Reynolds survived an early incident with James Courtney to finish sixth.
Will Davidson finished the best of the Erebus Mercedes squad in seventh, ahead of Kiwi Fabian Coulthard and Rick Kelly in the first of the Nissan’s.
Rounding out the top ten was Holden’s James Courtney. It was a difficult race for the Holden factory driver who climbed as high as fifth but dropped to 10th after suffering badly from tyre degradation.
Reigning champion Jamie Whincup suffered after a poor qualifying. The Red Bull Racing Australia clawed a few places back to finish 15th after starting 21st on the grid.