Mark Winterbottom has said he is focused on victory as the V8 Supercar Championship heads to Bahrain this weekend for the Gulf Air Desert 400.

The Ford Performance Racing driver took victory in the event last season and will now look to repeat the feat as he seeks to keep the pressure on Jamie Whincup at the top of the championship standings.

Winterbottom admitted that Bahrain will provide a totally different racing environment to Surfers Paradise last time out and predicted a weekend of action as the title protagonists do battle in the desert.

"This will be some of the best racing you'll see anywhere because there are three really strong passing points at Bahrain where even if a guy blocks he's really not going to hold you up," he said. "If we had been able to pass at Indy we would have been able to win the race I reckon. Here, the quickest guy wins not the guy who defends best, which is why I enjoy it.

"That's what my focus is on: winning not finishing second or third. I'm going to push hard and Jamie [Whincup] is the guy we've got to catch; I need to put pressure on him and the pressure is going to create a few errors I think and hopefully that's enough to get us in front.

"If I win every round from here on Jamie needs to finish on the podium. That's pretty hard pressure but everyone has to deal with it and Jamie was faultless at Indy so you can't say he's cracking under pressure.

"Whatever your weaknesses or strengths at round one, they don't mean anything now; it's a three round race. All the past mistakes mean nothing and the guy who wins it is going to have dealt with this pressure the best.

"Jamie's quick but one slip and we're back in front."

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