Mark Winterbottom breaks through at Bathurst 1000

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Mark Winterbottom (pictured, right) survived a thrilling duel with Jamie Whincup in the closing moments to win the Bathurst 1000 at Mount Panorama, claiming his first career triumph in the premiere race for Australia’s V8 Supercars.

The victory ended a long period of Bathurst frustration for Winterbottom and his Ford Performance Racing team. Prior to Saturday, Winterbottom had never hit the podium in the “Great Race” and FPR hadn’t notched a Top-3 result there since 2004.

For the fifth year in a row, the margin of victory was less than one second as Winterbottom and Whincup fought tooth-and-nail all over the mountain in a frantic ending. On the final lap, Whincup went to the outside and pulled his Triple Eight Racing Holden alongside Winterbottom’s Ford going into Turn 2 but Winterbottom was able to hang on to the point.

With Whincup’s momentum zapped, Winterbottom went on to win for himself and co-driver Steven Richards (pictured, left) by .47 of a second. The triumph came one day after Ford announced it would continue to support the FPR squad despite plans to cease manufacturing in Australia within the next few years.

“To win Bathurst is amazing but to do it with Ford, to do it after the announcement yesterday, to do it with FPR, to do it with Richo – if I could ever ask to win Bathurst in any scenario it’s exactly what happened today,” Winterbottom said according to The Sydney Morning Herald. “To see the Ford fans cheering your name. I’ve never been more pumped in my life.”

With Whincup and Paul Dumbrell left to settle for runner-up, another Holden tandem – Craig Lowndes and Warren Luff – picked up third after Lowndes engaged in his own late battle with multiple drivers for the final step on the podium.

Recapping the 2018 Dakar Rally with “best of” video highlights

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EDITOR’S NOTE: NBCSN will air additional Dakar Rally highlights on Monday at 7 p.m. ET.

As it has done so for four decades, the 40th annual Dakar Rally – the most grueling test of man and machine anywhere – produced a number of surprise finishes and also several disappointments for drivers or riders who were expected to do well in the nearly 5,600-mile trek that began in Peru and continued through Bolivia and ending in Argentina.

NBCSN has aired highlights from all 14 stages (actually 13, because one stage was completely rained out) during the Rally’s two-week run, which concluded Saturday.

Here’s some of the “best of” highlights from the overall Rally highlights, followed by a quick guide that gives you wrapups to all 14 stages.

So, without further adieu, here’s NBCSN’s “best of” the 2018 Dakar Rally:

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of cars

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of bikes

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of trucks

2018 Dakar Rally: Best of quads

Lastly, here’s a day-by-day wrapup of how the Rally played out.

MORE: Dakar Rally daily stages schedule, NBCSN broadcast schedule, list of all competitors.

MORE: Stage 14 overall Rally wrapup

MORE: Stage 13 wrapup

MORE: Stage 12 wrapup

MORE: Stage 11 wrapup

MORE: Stage 10 wrapup

MORE: Stage 9 cancelled due to weather, impassible course conditions

MORE: Stage 8 wrapup

MORE: Stage 7 wrapup

MORE: Stage 6 wrapup

MORE: Stage 5 wrapup

MORE: Stage 4 wrapup

MORE: Stage 3 wrapup

MORE: Stage 2 wrapup

MORE: Stage 1 wrapup