Even Ford star Mark "Frosty" Winterbottom is surprised he is within striking distance of the Supercars leaders after a disastrous start to the season.

But the former champion believes he is still in with a title shot, claiming drivers in the top Ford and Holden teams will hamper each other's championship tilt.

Winterbottom was astonished he was in eighth place in the drivers' standings, just 151 points behind Ford leader Fabian Coulthard after three rounds.

The former Bathurst champion scored his first podium of the season in his last start, revelling in a Ford one-two finish with winning teammate Chaz Mostert at Phillip Island. Coulthard leads the series with his DJR Team Penske teammate Scott McLaughlin fifth.


Winterbottom backed himself in what he believed was one of the most open Supercars championships in years.

"I think the top 10 to 15 are contenders. It sounds weird but it's fact. It's more open than ever."

Still, Winterbottom was left scratching his head over how he got to eighth place to date: "To be where we are is kind of bizarre because it feels like we have been absolutely nowhere.

"But there's a lot to go on yet."