Texas motorsport fans turned out in force for the first-ever V8 Supercars race to be held in the US. The Austin 400 received a unanimous vote of approval from more than 5000 Australian fans and an even bigger contingent of locals and V8 Supercar drivers.

 

SATURDAY

 

RACE 13
Up until the opening 27 laps of the event, Will Davison was well and truly in contention. After an early safety car he quickly set about moving up to fourth which he did with only one stop for his tyres. This efficient stop kept him in contention, although his ability to even finish the race was truly tested through a faulty cool suit which ensured his body temperature soared. He battled on regardless and just missed out on the podium, coming in fourth. Mark Winterbottom started seventh and was atempting a pass late in the race at turn 1, only to overshoot and drop back to 11th where he finished the race.

 

RACE 14
Winterbottom made arguably the best start of the day as he vaulted from 12th to 8th in the opening lap. 8th position soon became 7th on the third lap, after he passed his teammate Davison. Winterbottom then enjoyed an issue-free race to finish 6th. Davison was still feeling the effects of the cool-suit issues he experienced in the earlier race and would bravely hold position for much of the race before finishing 9th. 

 

DRIVERS' VIEW

 

Mark Winterbottom 
Race 13 
Qualifying: 7th 
Race: 8th

 

Race 14
Qualifying: 12th 
Race: 6th

“Today was one of the hottest days I’ve ever felt in a race car but to the team’s credit they did a lot of things between the races to ensure we were much cooler in the second race. It was a tough day and by the end we probably were sixth-fastest and we finished sixth so we just need to work on the car for tomorrow. It is one of those tracks that exaggerates slight handling imbalances so we are probably not far off where we need to be but it looks like we are so that’s something we’ll work on overnight.”

 

Will Davison 
Race 13 
Qualifying: 5th 
Race: 4th

 

Race 14 
Qualifying: 7th 
Race: 9th

“It is a bit disappointing today as I really thought we would be strong qualifying in the race given how well things went yesterday in practice. The balance in the heat was poor and it was physically a very tough day with a cool suit and drink bottle failure so I cooked myself pretty badly in the first race and I am feeling pretty ordinary right now. The team did a great job to fix all those issues in the really short break which enabled me to finish the second race but we have work to do tonight.”

 

Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal 
“Today was clearly a disappointing day as we underperformed relative to where we thought we’d be after the form we had in practice. The heat was a challenge for everyone but a couple of issues caused Will and Alex a few dramas in the first one which didn’t help things. All the drivers have a similar view on the things we need to improve on so that should help us work through the required changes and come out much stronger tomorrow.”

 

RACE 13 RESULTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight 
2) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight  Jason Bright – Brad Jones Racing
3) Fabian Coulthard – Brad Jones Racing 
4) Will Davison – Pepsi Max Crew FPR
8) Mark Winterbottom – Pepsi Max Crew FPR

 

RACE 14 RESULTS 
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight 
2) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight
3) Fabian Coulthard – Brad Jones Racing
6) Mark Winterbottom – Pepsi Max Crew FPR
9) Will Davison – Pepsi Max Crew FPR

 

SUNDAY

 

RACE 15 
Mark Winterbottom got off to a flying-start and set a race-leading pace only for a slow pit stop to force him down the order to an eventual seventh place. The issue was not related to similar wheel fitment problems early in the season and the team believe they have a fix for this now. Will Davison suffered the effects of a low qualifying slot. Contact with Scott McLaughlin also halted his progress and after starting 11th he finished 14th.

 

RACE 16 
Winterbottom had another rapid start to the final race and was up to sixth by lap four which was unfortunately the same lap where Will retired. He was much more pleased with his overall pace and made a number of passing attempts on Craig Lowndes only to get squeezed on his fourth attempt. Locked rear brakes led to contact with McLaughlin with the impact ending his race. Winterbottom pitted after the long safety car to remove his team-mate's stricken car. While he was happy enough with the pace, he was unable to make up any ground as the lead remained unchanged for the latter part of the race. 

 

DRIVERS' VIEW

 

Mark Winterbottom 
Race 15 
Qualifying: 4th 
Race: 7th

 

Race 16 
Qualifying: 10th 
Race: 5th 

“We started to make progress today and that is a good sign but the day has been frustrating as while we haven’t had the best weekend, to get to the lead and then have things go wrong is not ideal. In the final race we had a pretty good car but once you are in the pack it is hard to pass. We know what we need to do to address the pit stop issue and I’m sure we will so it is not all doom and gloom.”

 

Will Davison 
Race 15 
Qualifying: 11th 
Race: 12th

 

Race 16 
Qualifying: 14th 
Race: DNF

"I am pretty satisfied with today. We are making great headway with the new cars and we improved our pace from practice to qualifying and then even from one qualifying session to the other. The first session was disappointing but being on row two helped massively for the second race. Ultimately we weren't the quickest but clearly Frosty is flying and we should've had both cars on the podium today. We have scored good points and with some more gains overnight and two good qualifying runs in the morning I am confident we will be battling for wins tomorrow."

 

Tim Edwards – FPR Team Principal 
“We’ve thoroughly enjoyed racing here in Texas but clearly we’ve not recorded the results we expect. Mark had a genuine chance to win the first race and obviously a pit stop error cost us dearly which is unacceptable and while it was a different issue than earlier in the year we believe we’ve identified what it is. Will and Alex didn’t have the best of times today, while Dave really impressed with his race craft. If he can sort out qualifying he will be a regular frontrunner. Overall we have learnt a lot about our cars this weekend so while the frustration is still raw we know it will help us move forward overall.”

 

RACE 15 RESULTS
1) Fabian Coulthard – Brad Jones Racing 
2) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight  
3) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight 
7) Mark Winterbottom – Pepsi Max Crew FPR
12) Will Davison – Pepsi Max Crew FPR

 

RACE 16 RESULTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight 
2) Fabian Coulthard – Brad Jones Racing 
3) Shane van Gisbergen - Tekno 
6) Mark Winterbottom – Pepsi Max Crew FPR
DNF) Will Davison – Pepsi Max Crew FPR

 

DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS AFTER RACE 16 
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 1247 points
2) Will Davison – Pepsi Max Crew FPR: 1105 points 
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 1029 points
8) Mark Winterbottom – Pepsi Max Crew FPR: 861 points