Mike Stevens | Oct 26, 2009

FORD PERFORMANCE RACING star Mark Winterbottom has overcome a bout of illness to claim his first race win of the season at the Gold Coast’s SuperGP yesterday.

Winterbottom emerged victorious after finishing second in Sunday’s first 150km race and first in the afternoon event, the 28-year-old completing a remarkable turnaround after being knocked out of contention at Bathurst when his car caught fire.

The result catapulted Winterbottom into fifth place in the championship standings, 313 points behind Triple Eight Racing’s Craig Lowndes.

“It is awesome to be back in the winners circle,” Winterbottom said.

“Yesterday (Saturday) was a great day as well. It’s awesome. The Orrcon Steel FPR Falcon was really good all throughout the weekend and it is a credit to everyone in the Ford Performance Racing team to have a car that can finish all four races right up the front.

“It’s been a very tough weekend that’s for sure but to come away with it and finally break through for a win is really special.”

Although the V8 Supercars were initially slated to complete in two 200km races for the weekend, the embarrassing withdrawal of A1GP forced organisers to reshape the event and change its format.

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A revised format saw the two planned races replaced by four 150km events – two on Saturday and Sunday – with the highest point scorer on each day awarded race victory.

Winterbottom secured a win and a runners-up finish in Saturday’s two events, but finished second overall in the extended Race 19 behind Holden Racing Team’s Garth Tander, who secured overall victory by virtue of triumphing in the afternoon’s 34-lap battle.

The weekend wasn’t as successful however for Winterbottom’s fellow Ford driver Jamie Whincup, who saw rival Will Davison slash his to just 32 points with six races remaining.

Whincup’s recorded a best result of only sixth place across the SuperGP’s four races, failing to finish Race 20A after colliding with the barriers on the final lap.

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