A year on from his switch from Ford to Holden, Mark Winterbottom is expecting big things from his 2020 Supercars championship.
The 38-year-old got behind the wheel of a Commodore for the first time in his 16-year full-time Supercars career in 2019 after switching from Tickford Racing to Charlie Schwerkolt’s single-car Irwin Racing outfit.
The former Bathurst and Supercars champion secured some encouraging results for the first-year outfit including a pole position at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.
He was unable to secure a podium, however, with two fourth-place finishes his best race results as he ended the year 13th on the championship standings.
While there has been the addition of another car to his team this year with ex-Walkinshaw Andretti United driver Scott Pye coming on board, Winterbottom believes he’s far more settled heading into the new campaign.
“I have learnt a lot from last year that we can carry forward and I’m looking forward to putting it into practice this year,” he said.
“2019 was a very new year for me swapping over from Ford to Holden.
“I definitely feel a lot more comfortable now and although the team has expanded in the off-season, we’ve retained a lot of the same crew and complimented them with some new people.
“The Supercars’ championship is such a tough category, as every year you have to improve or be left behind, so hopefully there is a good year coming up for the team with the package we have put together.”
With Winterbottom’s last race win at Perth in May 2016, getting back up to the front of the field will be the 2015 championship winner’s main ambition in 2020.
He said consistent performance, starting at the season-opening Adelaide 500 later this month, will be the key to getting those results.
“Inconsistency let us down last year,” he said.
“We got pole position in Tasmania last year and then we qualified 20th at Phillip Island, so we need to make sure our good tracks remain strong and our troubling tracks become better.”