21 Mar 2009

Winterbottom taken off front row in Adelaide grid

1:01 pm on 21 March 2009

Ford's Mark Winterbottom has been booted off the front row of the Clipsal 500 grid in a controversial start to the new Australian V8 Supercar season.

After qualifying second fastest behind defending series champion Jamie Whincup, Winterbottom was excluded from the top 10 shootout for illegal kerb-hopping during his lap.

It meant his qualifying lap did not count, and relegated him to ninth position on the starting grid for the two 250km races today and tomorrow which open the 2009 V8 season.

His Ford Performance Racing team lodged a protest immediately after the decision, with Winterbottom admitting he was "gutted" by his exclusion.

Team Kiwi Racing was 28th and last in qualifying.