V8 Supercars frontrunner Mark Winterbottom has helped co-driver Marcos Gomes to finish second in the Stock Car Brasil championship’s season-opener, the Race of the Duos.

Sunday’s race saw a 33-car field featured a grid of eleven nationalities and a host of ex-Formula 1 racers. The series’ regular drivers started the race, with Átila Abreu leading from pole position at the race’s rolling start, only to see his hopes of victory ultimately come to an end with a wheel bearing failure.

The Gomes/Winterbottom car shared the front row and held second place in the early stages, despite plenty of action in the opening laps, and inherited the lead during the pit stop cycle. When he handed over to Winterbottom, ‘Frosty’ resumed in second place behind the race’s new leader, Nestor Girolami, who took over from regular driver Ricardo Mauricio.

Winterbottom initially began to eat into Girolami’s lead, but soon started to feel his rear tyres go off and had to drop back to conserve the rubber. He finished 6.8 seconds behind the winner, and eleven seconds clear of a tight scrap for the final podium position which featured the likes of António Félix da Costa, José María López and Lucas di Grassi.

It was Winterbottom’s second hit-out in Brazil’s premier tin-top championship and he once again impressed, backing up the podium he earned the year before when he was invited to co-drive for the Voxx Racing squad at Interlagos.

“[It’s] good to finish on the podium,” he said afterwards. “My stint was good for a couple of laps, but my tyres started to wear quite quickly so I had to back off. I’d love to have challenged for the win, but second is excellent. A podium is good in any day.”

Winterbottom will be back racing in Australia this weekend at the V8 Supercars’ second championship round at Symmons Plains in Tasmania.

2015 Stock Car Brasil Race of the Duos – Race Result (35 laps):

Driver / Co-Driver Team Result
1. Ricardo Maurício / Nestor Girolami Eurofarma RC Citroen 52:32.719
2. Marcos Gomes / Mark Winterbottom Voxx Racing Team Citroen + 6.892
3. Allam Khodair / António Félix da Costa Full Time Sports Citroen + 18.475
4. Cacá Bueno / José María López Red Bull Racing Citroen + 18.742
5. Thiago Camilo / Lucas Di Grassi Ipiranga-RCM Citroen +19.102
6. Max Wilson / Vitor Meira Eurofarma RC Citroen +19.766
7. Felipe Fraga / Álvaro Parente Voxx Racing Team Citroen +19.880
8. Valdeno Brito / Laurens Vanthoor Shell Racing Citroen + 25.577
9. Rubens Barrichello / Ingo Hoffman Full Time Sports Citroen + 42.395
10. Luciano Burti / Jaime Alguersuari RZ Motorsport Citroen + 45.797
11. Júlio Campos / Nicolas Prost Prati-Donaduzzi Citroen + 46.930
12. Galid Osman / Beto Monteiro Ipiranga-RCM Citroen + 50.193
13. Daniel Serra / Chico Serra Red Bull Racing Citroen + 52.997
14. Raphael Mattos / David Mufatto Schin Racing Team Citroen + 59.049
15. Ricardo Zonta / Jacques Villeneuve Shell Racing Citroen + 59.682
16. Lucas Foresti / Luiz Razia AMG Motorsport Citroen + 1:04.663
17. Vítor Genz / Matheus Stumpf Boettger Competições Citroen + 1:06.869
18. Felipe Lapenna / Vitantonio Liuzzi Schin Racing Team Citroen + 1:10.047
19. Alceu Feldmann / Ezequiel Raul Bosio Boettger Competições Citroen + 1:11.382
20. Ana Beatriz / Matias Milla RC3 Bassani Citroen + 1:16.879
21. Gabriel Casagrande / Enrique Bernoldi C2 Team Citroen + 1:18.789
22. Raphael Abbate / Nicolas Costa Hot Car Competições Citroen + 1:19.706
23. Fabio Fogaça / Leandro Totti Hot Car Competições Citroen – 1 lap
24. Antônio Pizzonia / Bruno Senna Prati-Donaduzzi Citroen – 1 lap
25. Sergio Jimenez / Fabio Carbone C2 Team Citroen – 1 lap
26. Tuka Rocha / Chris van der Drift RC3 Bassani Citroen – 2 laps
Not Classified Team Result
DNF. Rafael Suzuki / Antonio Perez RZ Motorsport Citroen 31 laps
DNF. Átila Abreu / Nelson Piquet Jr AMG Motorsport Citroen 27 laps
DNF. Popó Bueno / Guilherme Salas Cavaleiro Racing Sports Citroen 24 laps
DNF. Diego Nunes / Ricardo Rosset Vogel Motorsport Citroen 8 laps
DNF. César Ramos / Frederic Vervish Cavaleiro Racing Sports Citroen 7 laps
DNF. Denis Navarro / Felipe Giaffone Vogel Motorsport Citroen 5 laps
DNF. Felipe Maluhy / Xandynho Negrão ProGP Citroen 3 laps

Image via Stock Car Brasil

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Geoff Burke

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