WINTERBOTTOM’S TITLE-WINNING FALCON UP FOR AUCTION

Mark Winterbottom's Supercars Championship-winning Ford is up for auction. Pic: Supercars

THE car that Mark Winterbottom piloted to the 2015 V8 Supercars Championship title has been put up for auction by Tickford Racing.

Ford Performance Racing originally commenced the build of this chassis – FPR 1217 – way back in 2012 and completed it in 2013, though it didn’t turn a wheel until the following season.

The Falcon was debuted by Winterbottom as the #5 Pepsi Max Crew Falcon FG at the 2014 pre-season test day at Sydney Motorsport Park.

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Winterbottom ran the car throughout that season, winning its first race (and the first for Ford of the year) in Winton’s Sunday race before a string of strong results including wins at Pukekohe and Hidden Valley.

He and Steve Owen teamed up for the endurance races, highlighted by a fourth on the Gold Coast on the way to Winterbottom finishing third in the championship standings.

Winterbottom captured his first win in the car at Winton in 2014. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

The car was updated to FG X-spec bodywork for 2015, the first year the team ran under the Prodrive Racing Australia banner.

Winterbottom retained this car and collected eight wins in the first part of the season as he and teammate Chaz Mostert went on a blitz.

He was again teamed with Steve Owen for the endurance races and they starred, claiming the Sandown 500 in a PRA 1-2 finish and taking second place at Bathurst.

From there things got a little more tense and the #5 Falcon only finished on the podium one more time for the season.

But that podium was a special one: third place in the penultimate race of the season at Sydney Olympic Park secured Winterbottom the 2015 championship, the first for both he and PRA.

PRA retained this chassis for the 2016 season and it remained in Winterbottom’s hands as the #1 Bottle-O Falcon, taking a single victory at Barbagallo, before becoming Cameron Waters’ #6 Monster Energy FG X for the rest of the season.

Jason Bright drove the balance of the 2017 season for the rechristened Tickford Racing squad, before Richie Stanaway took the reins of this car in 2018.

Winterbottom’s last race for Tickford came in this car at Newcastle in 2018. Pic: an1images.com / Dirk Klynsmith

However, this car returned to Winterbottom’s hands for The Bend through to the end of the season, and is therefore also the last car he raced for Tickford before ending his 13-year stint with the team at the end of the year.

The team retained the car but moved it into the Super2 Series, where it was raced by Thomas Randle in 2019, Broc Feeney in 2020 and Zak Best this year.

“At the end of its competitive life, FPR 1217 will be restored to the condition in which it clinched the 2015 Supercars title at the Sydney 500 on the streets of Sydney Olympic Park, including correct paperwork, log book, set up sheets, and V8 engine as built and developed by Tickford Racing,” reads the listing on Lloyds.

“FPR 1217 will be prepared for delivery in February 2022.”

The auction is scheduled to end on December 19 and, at the time of writing, the high bid was $13,610.

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