Motorsport: Winterbottom brings up 400 race starts this weekend

Mark Winterbottomduring race 2 for the Townsville 400. Photo / Getty Images
Mark Winterbottomduring race 2 for the Townsville 400. Photo / Getty Images

Reigning series champion Mark Winterbottom will line up for his 400th race start on Saturday at the V8 Supercars Ipswich SuperSprint.

Having started in the series back in 2004 Winterbottom has found himself fighting for the title for most of the past decade, finally tasting success in 2015.

The Ipswich track is a place of fond memories for Winterbottom after claiming two race wins in 2015. He believes his team's biggest strength is the ability of the engineering group to turn the car into a competitive racer across a weekend, citing this as the reason for his consistency so far this year.

"It's exciting, absolutely," Winterbottom says of the milestone. "It's a big number, 400, but it's been fantastic to be a part of the sport for so long.

"Ipswich is a challenging track and it's another one where we had a good run last year so it's a good one to reach the milestone at."

While Winterbottom's Pro Drive Racing outfit has tasted success there recently the Ipswich track is home to title rivals Red Bull Racing Australia. Holden drivers Jamie Whincup and Shane Van Gisbergen are first and second in the title race and use this facility for all of their testing.

"For us we go to what is enemy territory but at the same time we're hopeful that we can beat them on their home ground," Winterbottom says.

"Going to your test track doesn't always work for you. Conditions can change and you've tested all these items and then you don't get on top of it and a fresh team has new challenges. It will make for good racing at that track, it is always a tough one and I just hope we can win again because it does feel better when you can beat them on their home turf.

- NZ Herald

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