Mark Winterbottom and Steve Owen have firmed as favourites for the third V8 Supercars’ PIRTEK Enduro Cup after a thrilling Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 that was won by Red Bull Racing Australia’s Craig Lowndes and Steven Richards.
The Wilson Security Sandown 500 winners Winterbottom and Owen finished second in today’s 1000 kilometre epic around the 6.213 kilometre Mount Panorama circuit.
The Prodrive Racing Australia Ford drivers hold a 78 point advantage in the PIRTEK Enduro Cup over Holden Racing Team duo, Garth Tander – and 2013 PIRTEK Enduro Cup winner, Warren Luff – who finished third today.
Shane van Gisbergen and Jonathon Webb hold down third in the Enduro Cup chase after Bathurst, 60 points behind the Tander/Luff combination.
Bathurst Winners, Lowndes and Richards are fourth heading to the Gold Coast.
The Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 was a race held in mixed conditions, Lowndes and Richards holding strong through the issues thrown at the drivers throughout the course of the day.
Winterbottom and Owen annexed a podium position despite a technical issue that required an electronics replacement during the course of the race and a subsequent penalty.
PIRTEK-backed DJR Team Penske ran around the top 10 for much of the day before a heavy contact with the wall at the top of the Mountain saw Scott Pye helicoptered to Orange Hospital, however was later released and cleared of injury.
The V8 Supercars take a hiatus for two weeks before heading to Surfers Paradise for the Castrol Gold Coast 600, which will conclude the PIRTEK Enduro Cup.
The pressure is on Red Bull Racing Australia to elevate itself to maintain its unbeaten streak in V8 Supercars Championship within a Championship.
Seven Holdens occupy the top 10 in PIRTEK Enduro Cup points standings with two Fords and a Volvo.
The Castrol Gold Coast 600 will take place in two weekends time, October 23-25.
PIRTEK ENDURO CUP POINTS:
1 Mark Winterbottom & Steve Owen (Ford) – 576 points
2 Garth Tander & Warren Luff (Holden) – 498
3 Shane van Gisbergen & Jonathon Webb (Holden) – 438
4 Craig Lowndes & Steve Richards (Holden) – 432
5 David Reynolds & Dean Canto (Ford) – 426
6 Lee Holdsworth & Sébastien Bourdais (Holden) – 360
7 Fabian Coulthard & Luke Youlden (Holden) – 354
8 Scott McLaughlin & Alexandre Premat (Volvo) – 348
9 Tim Slade & Tony D’Alberto (Holden) – 330
10 Jack Perkins & Russell Ingall (Holden) – 312