Mark Winterbottom has revealed he is a man in demand outside of Supercars.
Mark Winterbottom has revealed he is a man in demand outside of Supercars.

Frosty may be open to warm welcome overseas

MARK Winterbottom has revealed he has an offer to quit Supercars at the end of the year to continue his career overseas.

The 37-year-old Tickford Racing driver is off-contract for 2019 and told Fox Sports he has been approached to race in the Stock Car Brasil Championship next year.

Winterbottom said on Thursday that he enjoys racing in Brazil and wouldn't rule out a future move to the Stock Car series, although his preference is to remain in Australia where he has been a fan-favourite for almost two decades.

"I had an offer to go there (Brazil) next year as well to do a full championship so there are opportunities to do that down the track, but who knows?" Winterbottom told foxsports.com.au.

He added: "[I'll] sort of focus on what we've got here - and with kids it's tough as well."

Winterbottom - who was at Fox Sports for the launch of Supercars' historic night race in Sydney this weekend - said he remains unsure where he will be racing in 2019 but expected a decision to be made soon.

When asked when to expect more contract news, he said: "Yeah, who knows? Probably not too far away but [there's] a bit going on, so we'll see where we go and where we end up.

"I'll definitely be on the grid next year somewhere but it's just one of those things. You try to focus on your results because the better you go the more attractive you are as a product.

 

Mark Winterbottom is feeling a little bit emotional about the Falcon's Bathurst demise. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty
Mark Winterbottom is feeling a little bit emotional about the Falcon's Bathurst demise. Picture: Daniel Kalisz/Getty

 

"It's a small sport, people know you don't lose talent overnight so it'll all happen pretty soon I'm sure."

He said he would unlikely be attracted to any European championships, where he considers the racing competition to be somewhat artificial.

Instead, it's the "cut throat" nature of Supercars - and Stock Car Brasil series - which appeal to the Tickford Racing driver.

"I actually like the Brazil championship because it's kind of similar to ours, really competitive," he said.

"The only thing I don't like about some of that racing in Europe and stuff is the balance of performance and the way the manufacturers artificially race, which is part of what that sport is but at the same time - because I've done this for 15 years where it's cut throat - I haven't looked at that too much.

 

Winterbottom this year came 11th from the rear of the grid in the Stock Car Brasil series’ annual two-driver race at Interlagos, after notching up second in the 2015 event.
Winterbottom this year came 11th from the rear of the grid in the Stock Car Brasil series’ annual two-driver race at Interlagos, after notching up second in the 2015 event.

 

"We're lucky we have one of the best categories in the world. Focus on this, be competitive in this, then you can sort of dictate when you start and stop."

Winterbottom this year came 11th from the rear of the grid in the Stock Car Brasil series' annual two-driver race at Interlagos, after notching up a fourth and a second in the 2014 and 2015 events.

He will be aiming to place himself in the shop window this weekend at Sydney Motorsport Park, where the first Supercars night race on Australian soil in 21 years will be held.

The 2015 Supercars champion heads into the race arguably on a career-low, languishing in 14th in the driver standings after finishing 20th and 26th last race in Ipswich.

But despite the poor results, the man nicknamed 'Frosty' said he is confident heading into his home race, which he briefly led last year.

 

Winterbottom was at Fox Sports for the launch of Supercars’ historic night race in Sydney this weekend.
Winterbottom was at Fox Sports for the launch of Supercars’ historic night race in Sydney this weekend.

 

"Last year we actually had a pretty quick car but it was only good for about three laps and the front tyres just blew off the car big time," Winterbottom said.

"I'm pretty confident - I know what we need to go quick here but we've just got to try and achieve it. What we had last year was quite easy to drive but was only quick for a couple laps and obviously you need to be for 77.

"Chaz [Mostert] is a good benchmark too, he's pretty quick at this track. We've sort of got everything there data wise and history wise to go well, but this year's proven to be quite tough so we'll just see what we've got when we roll out, but we know what we need."

 

FOX SPORTS is the only place to see every practice, qualifying session and race from the inaugural Sydney SuperNight 300 LIVE, ad-break free and in HD. SIGN UP NOW >

 

FOX SPORTS' BROADCAST SCHEDULE

Red Rooster Sydney SuperNight 300

Fri 3 Aug: LIVE from 1.30pm

Sat 4 Aug: LIVE from 11.00am

Supercars Trackside: LIVE at 4.30pm on Fri 3 Aug

*Times listed as AEST