IRWIN


Racing’s Mark Winterbottom and Hino Racing’s Scott Pye moved forwards to score a ninth and 11th place finish respectively in the final race of the Beaurepaires Melbourne 400 at Albert Park.

Pye and Winterbottom started 13th and 17th on the grid and both made up a spot on the opening lap before a safety car was called to recover a car stuck on the grid.

Pye came in for his stop on Lap 4 and rejoined in 16th on track, while Winterbottom pitted four laps later and emerged in 14th.

Winterbottom locked up and ran off the road at Turn 9 two laps later, before recovering to sit in 12th and 13th once the pit stop cycle was completed.

Winterbottom passed Holdsworth for 11th with three laps to go before a tyre failure for Van Gisbergen and a five-second penalty for Feeney saw Winterbottom and Pye finish up in ninth and 11th respectively.

Pye leaves Albert Park as the new official race lap record holder, with a 1:46.0060 set in Race 8 on Saturday.

In the Drivers’ Championship, Winterbottom sits in 11th on 443 points, while Pye moved up to 16th on 379 points. In the Teams’ Championship, Team 18 remained in seventh place on 822 points.

The next round of the 2022 Repco Supercars Championship heads to Wanneroo Raceway in Perth, Western Australia for the Bunnings Trade Perth SuperNight on April 30 – May 1.

RESULTS & QUOTES

Mark Winterbottom, driver #18 IRWIN Racing Holden ZB Commodore

Race 9: Started 17th, finished 9th (Fastest lap: 1:47.7846)

“A good result, we started 17th and finished 9th. The car was good, our pace was good, it was just track position that made us work a bit harder today.

“I think we made gains over the weekend with car speed and handling, so really happy with that.

“Obviously we’ve got a bit of work to do to overcome a couple of our weekend jitters that we had but, all in all the car actually feels like we’ve advanced so much this year.

“We’ll recoup, rest up and go again in two weeks.”

Scott Pye, driver #20 Hino Holden ZB Commodore

Race 9: Started 13th, finished 11th (Fastest Lap: 1:48.1850)

“A huge weekend with four races. We had some pretty good races and a couple of tough ones as well, today being one of those.

“We finished 11th which looks good on paper when you start 13th, but the story of the day was the overcut.”

“I think if you went for the overcut you made up a lot of places. Unfortunately we pitted early thinking there was a lot of congestion in the field, but in hindsight it didn’t really work out for us.

“We got overcut by a few cars and the way the race went we didn’t get many of them back.

“I think we’ve found some good things in the car over the last couple of events and it ran faultlessly all weekend. It is a tough weekend, it’s a long week here at the grand prix so a huge effort by everyone and we’ll bounce back at the next one with hopefully some more top tens.

“We got close to a podium this weekend, let’s hope it’s not far away.”