Ford Pepsi Max Crew’s new Bathurst champion Chaz Mostert finished a fighting fifth in opening practice for the Castrol Edge Gold Coast 600 while Frosty was ninth.
Chaz was pleased to set a competitive time but had to man-handle his #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford around the challenging concrete-lined circuit to do so.
Despite the solid effort the biggest talking point was the kerb-cut sensor at Turn 2 which recorded 29 penalties and more than 100 strikes across the day, each incurring the respective car a one-minute pit lane penalty.
All four FPR-prepared Fords were penalised at various times, along with much of the field, and drivers have all voiced their concerns over the system ahead of Saturday’s opening qualifying session and race.
Mark Winterbottom & Steve Owen - #5 Pepsi Max FPR Ford: 9th
Winterbottom: “it was a tough day. The car is good in spots but not great in the last sector. If we can tidy that up we will be in a good position. The sensors meant we were battling with other elements today which made it tougher than it needed to be. The tyre bundles are working well but the Turn 2 sensors are a big issue. Steve and I have the same things we want to work on so that is a positive. We’ve used our practice as best as we could and if we get it right tonight there will be a big reward tomorrow.”
Chaz Mostert & Paul Morris - #6 Pepsi Max FPR Ford: 5th
Mostert: “It was pretty wild out there. There is a high level of commitment needed and we’re bouncing around a fair bit so all the cars are going to need to deal with a fair beating this weekend. We were fifth and I am reasonably happy with that in what is a close field. Tomorrow we are a good chance to make the shootout but most importantly we need to be kind on our car in the race.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“We didn’t have any issues today but we’re not quite as happy as we thought we’d be. The pace is there but it was a bit of a messy day with battling kerb penalties and the nature of the tyres and the sensors around the kerbing so there will be review and discussion tonight on the best action heading into tomorrow.”