The Pepsi Max Crew will return to Reid Park for only its third street circuit tryout for the year at the fan favourite Castrol EDGE Townsville 400.
While it has been some time since the team has seen just how the FG X will perform on a street circuit the drivers remains confident that current form will continue.
Championship leader Mark Winterbottom is keen to regain speed lost at Darwin while the team will look at alternate setup options for the half-street, half permanent circuit.
Chaz Mostert will look for two solid performances across the two 200km races on Saturday and Sunday as the young-gun once again aims to continue his climb up the points table.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max PRA Ford:
"Townsville should be good. I think I have to change my driving style a little bit to suit the strength of the car so I'm going to focus on that through practice along with setup changes but definitely trying to change the way I drive the car a little bit so we'll see how it goes. If we can set the car up to how I like to drive it it'll be fine but the way it is and its strengths sort of shows that I need to change a little bit so I'm trying to focus on that. Townsville's a strange place. In 2013 I got pole by about three-tenths and we were clearly one of the quickest cars and then last year we had a qualifying average of 18th so year-on-year it can change so much. I'm not dwelling on last year's results or getting carried away with the year before but I think our car is obviously showing that it's quick and if I can drive it right and get the setup right we should have a good weekend."
Chaz Mostert - #6 Pepsi Max PRA Ford:
"I'm looking forward to getting to Townsville; it's always good to get to some warmer weather at this time of year. We've just come back from Darwin and it was a bit of a shock coming back to freezing cold Melbourne so it's good to get to another warm event. Townsville's another great atmosphere round. The rock and race aspect of the weekend is awesome. As drivers we don't get to go and watch the concerts but to watch the fans really enjoying themselves across the two different events of the weekend is quite cool. On the racing side of things I'm looking forward to going there. I'm sitting fourth in the championship which is super exciting but I'm just looking to go and get two really solid results and hopefully end up on the podium. It's probably one of our tougher events as well. Hopefully the FG X suits this track as well but it's going to be hard because of the unknown of the street circuit. We got second at a street circuit at the start of the year at Adelaide so hopefully we can get some more good results."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"Townsville is always a great event. The atmosphere is always fantastic and the warm weather is a welcome change from the cold in Melbourne. It's a track that the drivers enjoy. It's a strange combination of about 30 per cent street and 70 per cent purpose-built circuit but it's a great layout. It'll be another good test for the FG X having only been to two street circuits so far, but I think we'll have good pace."
DUNLOP SERIES PREVIEW
Prodrive Racing's Cameron Waters will continue his Dunlop Series campaign with hopes to extend his current winning streak. After taking out every pole and first place at the Winton SuperSprint, the current Dunlop Series leader holds a 118 point lead over his closest competitor and defending champion, Paul Dumbrell. While Waters looks to extend his lead he remains wary of the rest of the field as they head to the challenging street circuit.
Cameron Waters - #5 ENZED PRA Ford:
"I'm pretty excited to get back in the car. Last year we were okay, it wasn't my strongest round but I think we've made the car a little bit better so it should suit Townsville a little bit more this year. The plan is to go there and hopefully get on pole, hopefully keep winning races and hopefully if we get a few more races we can get that winning streak out a bit more and open up the points lead but I think the opposition will be a bit harder this weekend."
EVENT NAME: Castrol EDGE Townsville 400
DATE: 10 - 12 July
LOCATION: Townsville, Queensland
EVENT NUMBER: 6 of 14
FORMAT: Friday – 3 x 30-minute practice; Saturday – 1 x 20-min practice, 2 x 15min qualifying, 1 x 70-lap race; Sunday – 1 x 20min qualifying, 1 x Top 10 Shootout, 1 x 70-lap race
CIRCUIT: Reid Park
DESCRIPTION: Reid Park is a fast and flowing street circuit in a similar style and parkland setting to Albert Park – the home of the Australian Grand Prix. The venue quickly became a driver and fan favourite when it was added to the calendar due to its layout and location close to the centre of the city. The majority of the track uses specially-constructed roads, while the remainder is made of pre-existing local streets running through parks.
TRACK RECORD: 1m12.47s – Garth Tander, 2009 (qualifying)
PRA BEST RESULT: 1st – Mark Winterbottom (2010), Will Davison (2013)