Winterbottom counting on Townsville turnaround

Mark Winterbottom says his poor Darwin form shouldn’t impact this weekend’s Townsville Supercars round, given the differences in the two circuits.

Winterbottom counting on Townsville turnaround
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Mark Winterbottom, Prodrive Racing Australia Ford
Chaz Mostert, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Chaz Mostert, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Chaz Mostert, Rod Nash Racing Ford
Todd Kelly, Nissan Motorsports, Chaz Mostert, Rod Nash Racing Ford

On what was a difficult weekend overall for the Prodrive Racing squad, Winterbottom came away from Darwin with a pair of 14th places after struggling with pace despite burning a precious mid-season test day in the buildup to the trip north.

However, the 2015 series champion is keeping calm ahead of this weekend’s Townsville round.

He reckons the move from the flowing Hidden Valley layout to the Townsville street circuit takes the importance off the form guide. It’s also a traditionally strong circuit for Winterbottom, who won both races in Far North Queensland in 2015, and a pair of thirds amid a difficult run there last year.

"Townsville is a different sort of track,” said Winterbottom. “We’re back into street circuit form and a stop-start type of car instead of a fast, flowing track.

“You’ve just got to stay confident. Back yourself, back the team and go forward.

“From a form guide point of view, Darwin doesn’t replicate results in Townsville so we’ve just got to keep going. We’ve got good people. We’ve just got to try and make some new bits, set a new direction and a new sort of track will also hopefully gives us results.

“In 2015 we had the double win on Saturday and Sunday. Last year we were on the podium and got a pole so it’s been a good track for us.

“But you need the car to be underneath you to get the results, and I think we can do that.”

Winterbottom’s teammate Chaz Mostert is also confident he can shake off a tough Sunday in Darwin when he gets to Townsville in a couple of days.

He reckons a positive debrief in the wake of what he called a ‘disaster’ in Darwin is key to improved form, although admits it won’t be easy.

“Townsville will probably be pretty tough,” he said.

“Darwin wasn’t one to remember for us but I know we can turn it around.

“Our de-brief after Darwin was really productive so we’ve definitely taken a lot from it. The two tracks are completely different and Townsville is always a lot of fun so I can’t wait to get there and reset on the season a little bit.”

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