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Mark Winterbottom to celebrate 600th race in Perth

Repco Supercars Championship veteran Mark Winterbottom will celebrate race 600 at Raceway in Perth this weekend.

Since making his debut during the 2004 season with Larkham Motorsport, Winterbottom has achieved a Bathurst 1000 victory alongside Steven Richards in 2013 and a Supercars title two years later.

Winterbottom will become the third Repco Supercars driver alongside Craig Lowndes and Garth Tander to achieve the feat as a tweaked livery will adorn his DEWALT Racing Chevrolet Camaro.

Winning the Konica V8 Supercars Series in 2003, Winterbottom immediately elevated to main game status at Larkham Motorsport joining Jason Bargwanna.

Moving to factory team Ford Performance Racing in 2006 started a successful era for both the Campbellfield operation and Winterbottom. Leading a changing of the guard for the factory squad, Winterbottom was mainstay as the team emerged as a consistent title contender.

Winterbottom has scored 38 victories, 117 podium finishes and 36 pole positions during his 599 race career.

A move to Team 18 in 2019 ended his 16 season association with Ford, as Winterbottom joining the squad was part of a revitalisation and a latter expansion for the Charlie Schwerkolt-owned operation.

“I go to Perth trying to get a result,” said Winterbottom.

“That’s what I go there for. But, I think we’ve got a good opportunity. We’re going okay at the moment and I think as the year goes on we’re going to get better and better.

“I’m also aware that, 600 race starts is something I’m pretty proud of. To be in the game for such a long time and have people believe in you, sponsors, team owners, and the crew around you and all that sort of side is a pretty special moment.

“I’ll be very grateful when that 600th race starts, but I’ll enjoy it even more if we get a good result.

“I think the Grand Prix result-wise was a bad weekend. But I look at the positives and I think, we’re very fast, we topped practice, we’re very fast in qualifying. We were a bit unlucky with weather, but we were top five pace in qualifying and most sessions we went out.

“We got beaten up a bit, but the goal is to go to Perth, use what we’ve done well, fix what we didn’t do well, and work for a result.

“I’m really in sync with the car, which is a good feeling. I think, I was quite disconnected from the previous car where this one, I really know what I want and what I’m after.

“It’s very clear to me where our weakness is and we’ve got a great group of guys and girls that are working hard trying to fix that weakness. So it’s not like the old car where you had to develop something, we’ve all got the same tools underneath us. I think a qualifying car is close for me from the last round, but the race car is our focus.”

Team owner Schwerkolt commended Winterbottom on his achievement.

“Frosty is a champion of the sport, and we’re thrilled to celebrate his 600th race start with this special addition to the DEWALT livery for such a significant occasion.

“Frosty’s longevity in the sport is a testament to his talent, attitude and passion for the sport, and his experience and insight have served us well to strengthen the team.

“He has adapted to the new generation of Supercars so well straight out of the gate, and we know there’s more to come from him into the future.”

‘Frosty’ will contest his 600th race this weekend at Raceway, Wanneroo.