Ford Pepsi Max Crew endured a tough day at Sydney Motorsport Park as multiple incidents affected the team’s performance with a fighting drive by Chaz to 10th the best on the day.
He qualified 10th and made a strong start only to run wide under brakes at Turn 2 on the opening lap. That dropped him down the field and when the Safety Car was deployed for an incident that claimed stable-mate David Reynolds, he was forced to pit behind Frosty.
Chaz then made another stop under the safety car to top up his fuel and on the restart he began his charge to an eventual 10th.
Frosty’s day never got started when an incident on the first lap resulted in a drive-through penalty.
A tap from behind pushed him into Reynolds who then made contact with Scott Pye. The pair then speared off into the concrete wall with the impact ruling Reynolds out on the spot with the #55 sustaining heavy rear-end damage.
The stewards judged Frosty was at fault at the resultant penalty, followed by a late-race tyre issue, saw him finish 20th and last.
Despite the incident-riddled race he was regularly the fastest car on track and was pleased with his performance gains.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“Overall our pace was actually quite good so I am pleased about that. But when you have contact you have to take whatever penalty you are given. That said I have never seen a start penalty where there are multiple cars involved not reviewed post-race. Dave had half a moment and someone was in the side of him and in the back of me and the whole thing was a big concertina. There were moments yesterday that were the same thing and they reviewed them post-race. The stewards were just reacting to an incident that had a dramatic consequence. You never want to hit another team car. Darwin last year I take full responsibility for but today was just one of those things. I used Chaz’s set-up and that gave us some positive direction though finishing 20th is a big negative. Our race pace is reasonable but qualifying is our Achilles Heel. We just have to be quicker. We’ll have a big regroup now and go again at the enduros. If we have the car pace we had today we can win I have no doubt about that.”
Chaz Mostert - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford:
“It was a really hard day. I had a pretty good qualifying session but I made a mistake at Turn 2 on the first lap and that cost me a few spots. Everyone is so aggressive on the first lap and I can’t get over that in a 200km race people are in the back of you off the start. It’s a bit ridiculous. I survived the first lap and then made an extra stop to top up my fuel and shorten my last stop. I ran long on the hard tyres and then on the softs and to get back to 10th wasn’t a bad recovery. To come all the way from 23rd is a good achievement. Our car pace was strong and I am really looking forward to getting to Sandown. Hopefully Paul (Morris) and I will be a strong combo and a dark horse.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“Today was a massive disappointment in all aspects though we did find some gains despite the results. Our race pace was much better today. If Mark hadn’t made a small error in qualifying three cars would’ve been in the top 10 so it probably would’ve been a different outcome. The incident with Frosty and Dave was very 50:50 in my opinion as there was a lot of contact on the opening few turns with multiple cars involved. The stewards made their decision and we have to live with it. There is a fair bit of work to do to repair Dave’s car but we will assess it thoroughly next week. We are expecting a strong enduro campaign so our focus now is firmly on Sandown.”
SYDNEY MOTORSPORT PARK 400 RESULTS – SUNDAY
1) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport
2) Nick Percat – Walkinshaw
3) Fabian Coulthard – Brad Jones Racing
4) James Moffat – Kelly Racing
5) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
10) Chaz Mostert – Ford Pepsi Max Crew
20) Mark Winterbottom – Ford Pepsi Max Crew
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2025 points
2) Mark Winterbottom – Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 1890
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 1812
4) Shane van Gisbergen – Tekno: 1778
5) Fabian Coulthard – Brad Jones Racing: 1712
7) Chaz Mostert – Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 1502
TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Triple Eight: 3887 points
2) Ford Pepsi Max Crew: 3417
3) HRT: 3142