Ford Pepsi Max Crew star and defending Bathurst Champion Mark Winterbottom broke was one of three drivers to break the Mount Panorama track record on the opening day of running for the Bathurst 1000.
Factory-prepared Fords led the day with stable-mate David Reynolds setting a new benchmark of 2m06.3s with Frosty close behind.
Chaz started the team’s day off on a high by leading the opening session before co-driver Paul Morris and Frosty’s co-driver Steve Owen took over for the second session.
Chaz ended the day 10th but was pleased with his overall pace on a day where Ford set the new benchmark at the toughest track in Australia.
Mark Winterbottom & Steve Owen - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford: 2nd
Winterbottom: “We’ve enjoyed the week so far, and we’ve enjoyed being defending champions but as a team we want it for another 12 months and we’ve started off well today. It is hard work out there and while there is a lot more speed, that brings some issues but it seems to be the same for everyone. Hopefully we can maintain our speed and I think Sunday will be a good race given the fast times we are all doing.”
Chaz Mostert & Paul Morris - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford: 10th
Mostert: “It was encouraging today. We rolled out ok but we read the track a little wrong despite being fastest. I think a lot of us were caught out early but we improved, though there are a few things I want to tidy up. I didn’t get the run and wasn’t happy with my brakes at the end of the day but the time is there as we saw with Dave and Frosty. They have more experience than me around here so I am just building up. If we can qualify in the top 10 that is my goal. The morale in the team is great. Everyone has a little sparkle in their eye so hopefully we can keep this pace up all weekend.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“We couldn’t ask for a better start to our week here at Bathurst with all cars rolling out strongly. Chaz, Frosty and Dave all performed very well and Dave’s lap at the end was special. The lap record at this circuit is something every driver wants and while the new track surface was always likely to produce fast times, he did the job and it sets him up nicely leading into qualifying. Credit must also go the crew who repaired car 18 so thoroughly and quickly. Jack had full confidence in their work and we’ll help them catch up to ensure a strong four-car effort.”