IRWIN Racing’s Mark Winterbottom scored a top ten finish in Race 22 at The Bend Motorsport Park, while Nulon Racing’s Scott Pye charged forwards ten places in torrential conditions in Race 23 at The OTR The Bend SuperSprint.

Qualifying early on Sunday morning saw Winterbottom start eighth and 12th for Sunday’s two 24-lap races, while Pye was caught out by traffic during his laps to start 21st and 22nd respectively.

A major start line incident in Race 22 brought out the red flag after Pye gained five spots off the start, however the incident triggered a full restart from the original qualifying positions.

Pye entered the pit lane for his compulsory stop on Lap 6 and was tagged by Lee Holdsworth who was unsafely released from the pit box behind. The contact caused damage to the left hand side of the Nulon Commodore and Pye battled for pace after the incident to take the chequered flag in 20th position.

Winterbottom had a clean race showing consistent pace to score a ninth-place finish.

A downpour on the grid for Race 23 saw the full field swap to wet weather tyres as the cars took the start behind the safety car.

Pye put in a strong wet weather performance to make some bold overtakes on a charge from 22nd to 13th. Winterbottom battled visibility issues but had a clean race to bring it home in 15th.

Team 18 will head back to their Mount Waverley base to prepare for their home race at the Sandown SuperSprint on 19-21 August.

Results & Quotes

Scott Pye, #20 Nulon Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Qualifying (Race 22) – 21st (1:49.5274)
Qualifying (Race 23) – 22nd (1:49.2380)
Race 22 – 20th (Fastest Lap: 1:51.3951)
Race 23 – 13th (Fastest Lap: 2:08.2455)

“It was a tough weekend, we qualified out of position but we moved forward in that last race ten spots. 

“It was wet, it was extremely difficult, you could not see a thing, I’ve never been on the radio on the race start off the line saying that we could not see a thing.

“It’s a tough race, your eyes are a bit sore from concentrating but it was a good opportunity for overtaking and from 22nd where we qualified to come home in 13th is a great result for the team. 

We got a little bit unlucky with strategy but I’ll take the ten place improvement and we have a straight car.

I’m looking forward to Sandown, I think the cars are going to be great there and looking forward to heading back for the team’s home race.

Mark Winterbottom, #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Qualifying (Race 22) – 8th (1:49.0441)
Qualifying (Race 23) – 12th (1:48.9219)
Race 22 – 9th (Fastest Lap: 1:51.5436)
Race 23 – 15th (Fastest Lap: 2:08.2458)

“We had a really good chance of a great result this afternoon but a few dramas with visibility through the windscreen in the wet weather, it’s like driving down the highway without your wipers on, so I think it was a missed opportunity.

“The first race we were ninth so it could have been a pretty solid day but the cars are straight, we’ll go back and regroup and get ready for Sandown.”