Motorsport: First win for Winterbottom

Mark Winterbottom. Photo / Getty Images
Mark Winterbottom. Photo / Getty Images

Ford driver Mark "Frosty" Winterbottom won a controversial V8 Supercar race at the Gold Coast yesterday as Holden's Jamie Whincup extended his championship lead.

Winterbottom secured his first win of the year after passing Whincup for the lead on the 94th of 102 laps in the 300km race.

But Whincup was the weekend's big winner, emerging with a 143-point lead in the championship standings ahead of teammate Craig Lowndes.

The 37-year-old three-time champion's horrible weekend finished in disappointment once again as he could only finish 20th to hand the championship initiative to Whincup with three rounds remaining.

Holden's Lee Holdsworth finished third in a race that was dogged by controversy over the failure of a sensor system aimed at preventing drivers from short-cutting corners on the 2.96km Surfers Paradise street circuit.

The system broke down midway through the race, sparking chaos as several drivers chose to repeatedly to drive straight through chicanes.

It left team managers confused and some drivers fuming as those penalised early in the race could only watch, Lowndes' co-driver Andy Priaulx was just one to express his frustration. "Today was ruined by a stupid rule," Priaulx said as he watched Lowndes' championship hopes take a big hit.

The Holden star, who came into the weekend with a 100-point lead over Whincup, will be hoping for a much better outcome at the next event in Tasmania from November 11 to 13.


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