Supercars: Winton winners and losers

Winton provided the perfect, if not slightly chilly, background for another action-packed weekend of Supercars action, but who were the winners and losers of the weekend?


Picture credit: Kytabu

Winners

  1. 1 Rick Kelly

    It's impossible not to include Rick Kelly in this list of winners coming out of the Winton round after he nabbed a long-overdue win for both himself and a Nissan workshop which had just found out the factory backing wouldn't be there beyond 2018.

    Kelly was inspired on the Saturday in Race 13, taking advantage of a late slip from championship leader Scott McLaughlin to end a long drought without a race win and the emotional post-race scenes showed a beautiful release.

    Kelly's winless run had gone 210 races without a win, last standing atop the podium back in November 2011 back in the days Kelly racing used to campaign Holden Commodores. 

    It had also been two years since Nissan had claimed a Supercars victory.

    Given that Nissan had confirmed the withdrawal of their financial backing just days before, the team and Kelly, owner of the outfit alongside brother Todd, had been through hell and back.

    Post-race, Todd Kelly suggested that, given what they'd just been through, the win felt "better than Bathurst."

  2. 2 Fabian Coulthard

    Seemingly the forgotten man at DJR Team Penske these days, Coulthard put together a strong weekend in country Victoria, finishing the weekend with victory in Race 14 on Sunday afternoon.

    Coulthard suffered a shocking start from the front of the grid during Race 13 and looked to be circling around well behind teammate Scott McLaughlin, but a late mistake from the #17 pilot opened the door for Rick Kelly, Scott Pye, Shane Van Gisbergen and Coulthard to sneak through and grab a handful of championship wins.

    Fast-forward to Sunday afternoon and Coulthard got the perfect start and led much of the way to post a memorable victory and become the eighth different race winner for the 2018 season.

  3. 3 Shane Van Gisbergen

    While there was no race wins for the Giz at Winton this year, he managed to notch two podium places across the weekend and manage to ever-so-slightly close the points gap on Scott McLaughlin in the championship race.

    The gains were incremental for van Gisbergen, just a few points across the weekend, but they made sure he remained the only player with a round's worth of points of McLaughlin at the top of the tree and kept alive the Red Bull Holden Racing Team's title hopes for another campaign.

Losers

  1. 1 Scott McLaughlin

    Sometimes, the word loser is an objective term, other time it's a subjective one.

    Calling Scott McLaughlin a loser on a weekend when he finished fifth and third across two tricky races in Winton may seem a touch harsh, but after he threw away a Race 13 win late on with a slip up off the back of a safety car stint and pulled off a diabolical start to Race 14 which saw him dump from pole position to eighth place, Scott would be the first to tell you he came out of the weekend a little worse for wear.

    Throw in the fact that he dropped championship points to Shane Van Gisbergen in each race and you can expect a fiery return to the track for McLaughlin next time out.

  2. 2 David Reynolds

    What a tough weekend for the Erebus Motorsport man David Reynolds.

    Reynolds entered the weekend in second place on the championship ladder but suffered a horror weekend which was kick-started by a poor qualifying performance ahead of the first race of the round.

    Starting in 17th place, Reynolds was caught up early in other people's dramas and that sent him packing to the pit lane and forced his team to try and fix things on the run, never fun in a sprint round.

    Reynolds ultimately finished 25th and dropped a whole heap of championship points behind leader Scott McLaughlin.

  3. 3 Mark Winterbottom

    It's not all that long ago that Mark Winterbottom was a series champion, but those heady days felt a lifetime away as the Prodrive man suffered a nightmare birthday weekend at Winton.

    A Sunday morning qualifying shunt with Shane Van Gisbergen ignited emotions but ultimately saw no action while a 20th place finish in Race 14 was only slightly bettered by his 18th place finish in Race 13 and showed Frosty was a long, long way off the pace at Winton this time around.

    Who were your big winners and losers from the Supercars weekend at Winton? Let us know in the comments below.

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Daniel Lang

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