Date: May 06 2012
THE door remains open for Ford's Mark Winterbottom to make a run at the 2012 V8 Supercars championship after claiming the Perth round's opening race yesterday.
However, Winterbottom was simply hoping a door remained closed on his Falcon after a bizarre pre-race incident almost cost him dearly.
Winterbottom's success ensured Ford had claimed five of the first seven races of 2012.
But Holden's Jamie Whincup kept his title defence hopes alive by reclaiming the series lead from Winterbottom's unfortunate teammate Will Davison.
Whincup moved to 917 points with his second placing.
In contrast, Davison (866) was a shattered man after limping into 25th following a sensational first-lap shunt that damaged his suspension and took out pole-sitter Garth Tander.
Initially it looked like it may not be Winterbottom's day.
Winterbottom looked on hopelessly as his frantic crew worked on replacing his left door that was damaged on the starting grid.
In a rare sight, Tander clipped the door as he made his way to the grid's front row.
''Unfortunately the door slipped out of one of our guy's hands and it swung open as Garth came past - there was a fair scramble going on,'' Winterbottom said.
WA-born Tander was a popular pole winner - but cheers turned to tears in the blink of an eye.
On the first lap, Tander tangled with Winterbottom before being turned by Ford's David Reynolds and becoming a sitting duck.
Remarkably, Davison was the only one to slam into Tander.
Tander's Holden caught fire while Davison limped into the pits and never recovered.
''Unfortunately I got caught out because of someone else's stupid mistake,'' a livid Davison said.
Winterbottom did not sound like he had much sympathy for Tander.
''I am not sure what Garth was doing there, he cost himself a race,'' he said.
Two 120km races will be held today.
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