PRA suffered at the hands of Mother Nature in the opening race of the Perth SuperSprint with Cam’s maiden pole position the highlight of a tough and ever-changing day.
Cam started strongly and led the opening laps in the wet from Chaz who qualified alongside on the front row.
The track dried quickly and the field switched to slicks with the pair remaining in the top four as the field settled and the battle to conservative tyres commenced.
Unfortunately Frosty’s charge never took off. A lengthy stop when he changed to slicks was caused by eventual race winner Craig Lowndes hitting one of Frosty’s wheels in the pit lane, forcing the crew to retrieve the errant slick.
The delay dropped him down the field and while battling back he hit a wet patch of track at Turn 7 and ran through the dirt. Tyre damage and blocked radiators from the off forced another stop and despite a stirring drive back through the field he was only 22nd at race end.
Cam and Chaz held position at the front until the final 10 laps when excessive tyre wear dropped them to the midfield.
Mark Winterbottom - #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Race 8: 22nd
"It was the worst day I’ve had in a while. We weren’t great in the wet; the tyre pressures were a bit low. Lowndes hitting my tyre delayed me in pit lane and that put me back down the field, I was getting hit by cars on hotter tyres and then I hit the wet patch at Turn 7 so it escalated from there. We had to pit for new tyres and we were quick after that but the tyres I damaged means I have one less set for tomorrow which adds to the challenge.”
Cameron Waters - #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Race 8: 13th
"I was absolutely rapped to get pole today. Half the field had the window to get a lap in and I was the best of those which was cool. I made a good start; I haven’t done a wet start for a very long time, which was encouraging. The car was strong in the wet and we were evenly matched and in the dry things were good but with about 15 laps to go we hit a cliff and tyre life let us down. We’ll review it all tonight and give it a better go tomorrow.”
Chaz Mostert - #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Race 8: 12th
"We hit a cliff with the tyres which was made worse as I flat-spotted a tyre early in the race and it hurt me when it mattered most. I also took a hit in the rear from Shane (van Gisbergen) which wasn’t ideal either but that wasn’t the main issue. The weather wasn’t great to us today; it was tough despite starting on the front row. If we have a clearer day tomorrow I think we’ll be much happier.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"Today was one of the tougher days we’ve had in recent times so while we’ll quickly switch focus to tomorrow we will be looking long and hard at the data to work out how we can improve our tyre life which let us down today. Cam’s pole in challenging conditions was a highlight and Chris Pither’s strong drive was encouraging for everyone. We also finished first and third in the Dunlop Series race so we’ll be drawing on everything we can to ensure we’re in the fight to the end tomorrow.”
Prodrive Racing (Australia) enjoyed a much stronger day in the Dunlop Series with Jack Le Brocq claiming his maiden victory for the team. Starting second he surged into the lead and pulled away from the field rapidly, eventually claiming the win when the race was red flag due to a heavy rain storm which hit the circuit in the closing laps. Series leader Garry Jacobson started sixth and would finish third after enjoying similarly strong race pace like his team-mate.
Jack Le Brocq - #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford:
“It was great to get my first race win in the Dunlop Series over here in Perth. I am so stoked for the team, all my sponsors and supporters and of course my family. I am really keen to bring on many more of these moments. Now it’s time to knuckle down and get this championship back on track.”
PERTH SUPERSPRINT RESULTS
1) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight
2) Shane Van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
3) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
8) Chris Pither – Super Black Racing
13) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
14) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
22) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 780
2) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 765
3) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 708
6) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 666
14) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 461
18) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 433
24) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 250
1) Triple Eight: 1463
2) HRT: 1216
3) GRM: 1125
4) Prodrive Racing (Australia): 1099