V8 Supercar driver Mark Winterbottom.
V8 Supercar driver Mark Winterbottom. Mark Horsburgh

Winterbottom goes top after Winton victory

MARK Winterbottom will head to Darwin next month with the lead in the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship after taking out race 12 at Winton, matching his victory in the corresponding race last year.

The Ford star managed to hold off Fabian Coulthard's Commodore to grab the lead from Craig Lowndes for the first time this season.

"Fabs had a big push, I tried to save the tyre and it came back which was surprising," Winterbottom (pictured) said.

"I'm so proud of the boys back at the workshop ... they've done a great job."

Coulthard, who moved from fifth in the championship to third, said he thought he was going to pass Winterbottom in the closing stages, but was happy to finish second. Defending champion Jamie Whincup could only manage 10th after starting from 22.

Series points: Winterbottom 937, Lowndes 925, Coulthard 851, Courtney 810, Whincup 801.