Motorsport: Canto to partner Winterbottom in enduros

Mark Winterbottom during the V8 Supercars Phillip Island SuperSprint. Photo / Getty Images
Mark Winterbottom during the V8 Supercars Phillip Island SuperSprint. Photo / Getty Images

Reigning V8 Supercars champion Mark Winterbottom will enter his 14th endurance season with a new co-driver in 2016 pairing with PRA stalwart, Dean Canto.

After making his Bathurst debut in 1999, the 35-year-old has not missed a Great Race since, the last eight starts with Prodrive Racing. A total of 30 Bathurst drives between them make the new team green pairing one of the most experienced and formidable in the field.

Driver changes within the team and the resultant ergonomic requirements mean the pair team up for the first time in their careers.

Winterbottom says he is excited at the prospect of racing with Canto, who is a two-time Gold Coast 600 winner and former two-time Dunlop Series Champion.

"It makes sense for a lot of reasons and I am really excited to be pairing up with him this year. He's a really talented, reliable driver and he has always been one of those guys who I've wanted to drive with. People know him as 'The Bottle-O driver' too so it makes sense from a branding perspective," the current champion said.

"He has a wealth of experience and is hungry to win races as well. He started Bathurst from pole position last year and did a fantastic job in that race.

"He might have the opportunity to start some races for us, who knows, but the best thing about him is that I know that when he gets in the car you know he's going to try and get you in the best possible position to close out the race."

- NZ Herald

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