Mark Winterbottom enjoyed a solid race weekend at Surfers Paradise to bring him three podium finishes from the V8 Supercar Coffee Club Challenge.

The Ford Performance Racing driver finished third behind Jamie Whincup and Garth Tander in each of the three races and was amongst the quickest men throughout the race weekend on the Gold Coast.

In the opening race, Winterbottom had the speed but Whincup and Tander didn't put a wheel wrong, with the FPR man left to rue only qualifying in fourth.

"I think I had the best seat in the house, watching Garth and Jamie hitting tyre bundles and rubbing panels!" he said. "I was just sitting there watching, hoping Garth would make a move so I could reap the rewards; it was follow the leader a bit.

"It was a tough race but everybody drove well, everybody's cars are straight. We're fighting for the championship and we all scored good points."

The second and third races followed a similar pattern for Winterbottom with the top three breaking away from the field in both races but the Ford man unable to find a way past the duo ahead.

"It's frustrating because you've got a quicker car and normally you soldier through," he said. "Every track is unique though and qualifying is important here; I can't blame anyone but myself for not putting it on pole.

"It was good racing; three guys in championship contention who don't want to throw points away. There were times when Jamie was on the wall and Garth was on the wall. From the outside it may have looked like we're following the leader but when you've got spongy brakes or wrecked tyres, not making a mistake in those conditions for 27 laps is very tough."



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