Pepsi Max Crew drivers Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert enter the season-opening Clipsal 500 in high spirits as the team prepares to challenge the field in its newest Ford fighter, the FG X Falcon.
A refreshed engineering outlook and positive results over the test weekend has revitalised the team, promoting a new determination.
A ten-year team veteran, Mark looks to replicate his strong start to last year's season as the FG X gives the driver renewed confidence that he can continue to compete at the front of the field.
After a rough outing at the track last year, young gun Chaz believes having a year's experience under his belt and a new model to steer will prove a positive combination at the Adelaide street circuit.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max PRA Ford:
"I'm really looking forward to Clipsal. Obviously the test day went really well in the FG X, so it will be nice to take it to a slower speed track. Eastern Creek was a quick track so again we'll be learning but I'm really excited to take it there. I think we have a car that brakes well and is good at high speeds so if we get the braking right at turn nine and we are strong then we have to focus on all the little pointy corners on the track. Adelaide is one of my favourite races; it's tough, physical and always throws something unexpected your way so I'm looking forward to it. We need to start strong, in every championship you need to start strong, so it's an important event."
Chaz Mostert - #6 Pepsi Max PRA Ford:
"The main plan at Clipsal is to have a nice clean weekend and come back with a straight car. We have a brand new car that we ran at the SuperTest so we are planning on coming away from there with a straight car which would be ideal. I have my sights set firmly on the top five and to try and start the season quite strong in the standings. At the moment the main thing we have to try to work on is getting the car balance right. The way we rolled out at the SuperTest was and exciting and really positive so I can't wait to get to Adelaide to see what it can do around a street circuit and see what we can do with some kerb riding."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"Everyone here just can't wait for the season to officially start. A lot of work was put in over the off season with the FG X being built, tested and finalised but we are finally there and getting the cars on track. You can tell the drivers are excited which is exactly what you want to see. If the drivers have confidence in the cars, that attitude translates to the crew and everyone is in it to win it. We hope we will have the other two cars in the FG X outfit by Tasmania but for now we are focusing on Clipsal and I think all four cars have a very good chance of being up the front."
DUNLOP SERIES PREVIEW
Prodrive Racing's Cameron Waters returns to the Dunlop Series in 2015 as he debuts as #5 in the Team ENZED PRA Ford. Waters recorded an impressive break out year with the team, finishing second in the Dunlop Series Championship behind former team driver, Paul Dumbrell. With a year's experience under his belt Waters looks to improve on last year as he sets his sights on the top spot.
Cameron Waters - #5 ENZED PRA Ford:
"Clipsal should be a good weekend. Last year I went pretty well there. I have another year under my belt and in that car so hopefully that experience will put me up the front. I'm looking forward to getting back there and getting some points on the board and hopefully a few wins early as well so we can start the season and the championship on a good note."
EVENT NAME: Clipsal 500
DATE: 26 February – 1 March
LOCATION: Adelaide, South Australia
EVENT NUMBER: 1 of 15
FORMAT: Friday – 3 x 30-minute practice; 2 x 10-min qualifying; Saturday – 1 x 20-minute practice, 2 x 39-lap races; Sunday – 1 x 20-min qualifying, 1 x Top 10 Shootout, 1 x 78-lap race
CIRCUIT: Adelaide Parklands
DESCRIPTION: Most of the 3.22km track uses the former Australian Formula One Grand Prix street circuit designed in conjunction with former F1 World Champion, Keke Rosberg. Renowned as the best street circuit in the world after its 11-year tenure as the home of the Grand Prix, the fast layout leaves absolutely no room for errors and its concrete barriers have often provided a stark reminder to V8 Supercar drivers of just how hard it can bite if mistakes are made. The event is one of the biggest domestic sporting events in the country.
TRACK RECORD: 1m20.95s – Garth Tander, 2010 (qualifying)
PRODRIVE RACING BEST RESULT: 1st – Will Davison (2012)