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Winterbottom sets pace in qualifying at Nikon SuperGP

Mark Winterbottom leads the way for Ford in qualifying for the Nikon SuperGP.
Mark Winterbottom has overcome illness to post the fastest time of the two qualifying sessions ahead of Saturday's top ten shootout at the Nikon SuperGP.

Despite battling with a glandular illness for the past week, the Ford Performance driver was able to pull out the stops to record a 1 minute 49.2866 second lap around the streets of Surfers Paradise aboard the Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon.

The result saw Winterbottom come home ahead of reigning Gold Coast winner and V8 Supercar champion Jamie Whincup and Russell Ingall – both local Gold Coasters.

The V8 Supercar field will now head to the Top Ten Shootout tomorrow morning at 9am [local time], before taking on two 150km races across the day.

“The speed in the car was good and it felt balanced so I was pretty comfortable, and was able to commit to the corners,” said Winterbottom.

“I feel pretty good now so I think putting the car where we did has been a good injection, I didn't feel that great after the first lot but the cool suit failed so I think if we can get the cool suit working tomorrow I should get through the race okay.

“Tomorrow is the shootout, and that will be the challenge: getting the tyre temperature up and getting it done in one lap.

“I am just really glad to get the result today after the boys worked so hard on both of the team's cars to get them to the top ten shootout, and hopefully I can repay them with a result tomorrow.”

After today's two legs of qualifying James Courtney, Garth Tander, Will Davison, Paul Dumbrell, Steve Richards, Jason Bright and Craig Lowndes are set to join Winterbottom, Whincup and Ingall in the top ten shootout.

Nikon SuperGP General Manager Greg Hooton confirmed a crowd today of 48,284 - in comparison to last year's Friday crowd of 63,124 - which is a 18 per cent rise on the crowd of yesterday and 23 percent down on last year's Friday figures.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mark Winterbottom,  (Aust) Orrcon FPR Ford   Races 11 & 12 V8 Supercars The Dunlop Townsville 400 Townsville Qld

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