Ford Performance Racing's Mark Winterbottom let the comeback of the century slip from his grasp at Winton on a day that created the first three-way tie in a round result of a V8 Supercar Championship Series event.

For the first time in Supercar and Australian Touring Car Championship history, three drivers - Toll HRT's Garth Tander, TeamVodafone's Jamie Whincup and Jim Beam Racing's Will Davison - finished equal on total points for the weekend. The event was eventually decided on finishing positions in race three, which was won by Tander, with Whincup next across the line, followed by Davison in fourth. The Jim Beam driver had had a great chance to win his second event of the year until wearing tyres got the better of him in the last race.

"It's a little bit like a draw in football I guess, but the rules are that the first across the line in the last race gets the trophy," Tander confirmed, "Rick [Kelly] and I were tied first and second in New Zealand last year and I was given second there - that's the way it is and I'll certainly take it this time.

"We won that last race on genuine speed and it's a shame Mark [Winterbottom] wasn't there for us to gauge our speed from, but you've got to stay on the track for that to happen."

Winterbottom's outright speed was no more evident than when he came from 21st to second in race two, giving himself a shot at the most unlikely of third race victories. But the FPR driver slipped up on the first lap of race three, which led to his demise.

"I just made a mistake," Winterbottom said, "It was tough conditions out there and, when I turned in, I just locked the tyre. Then it's blind coming back on [to the track] and I got hit by someone.

"The 'off' was a mistake - and you can't say you did the other bit right when it was a mistake to start with. You put a lot of pressure on yourself and like to think you don't make errors, but let's get it out of the way and make sure it doesn't happen at, say, Bathurst.

"I've lost my yellow jersey, but we'll see how we climb the Mountain. It's nice to lead, but you've got to lead at the right time. I've lost it for a bit but let's see what happens."

Whincup, having won the opening race of the weekend, snuck into second overall based on his last race finish.

"Any podium finish in this category is a good one," the TeamVodafone driver admitted, "We didn't steal the silverware this time and we were very keen to do that after [being beaten] at Queensland Raceway."

Davison lamented running out of momentum in the final race, where he started from the front of the grid but was unable to keep full pace with the field with the wearing tyres.

"It's great to be here," he said of his podium appearance, "Any day to be on the podium is a great day, especially for me. I'm a little disappointed though because we did go into the last race leading, but having used all of our tyres. And Lee [Holdsworth] did a good job to jump me in the pits, which ultimately became the difference."

Holdsworth completed a troubled weekend by claiming a race podium in third spot, no doubt wondering what he could have done had he not been penalised after race one, while Rick Kelly - the man Holdsworth was adjudged to have hit unfairly in the opener - completing the top five.

Just 26 cars took the start of race three after the shenanigans of the day's first encounter, with Craig Lowndes, Russell Ingall - one of those involved in the incident provoked by a clash between Steven and Jason Richards - Paul Dumbrell, Fabien Coulthard and Jason Bright rounding out the top ten.

The Series now has a five-week sabbatical while the Beijing Olympics take place before returning for the first of the two endurance races, the L&H 500 at Phillip Island, on the weekend of 12-14 September.

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment