PRODRIVE RACING AUSTRALIA – WINTON SUPERSPRINT PREVIEW
Prodrive Racing (Australia) will journey to the Winton SuperSprint with an updated outlook on the life of the soft compound tyre after Mark Winterbottom's spectacular win on Sunday in Perth. With the new track surface to play an important part in strategy, Winterbottom is not concerned about tyre life at Winton, and says that the increased grip will reduce degradation and increase the competitiveness of the field. After rekindling his pole-winning pace in Perth, Chaz Mostert is becoming more confident in the #55 car's one-lap speed ahead of Winton where he took home all three cheques last year. Despite his one-lap confidence, Mostert says there is homework to be done on setup to improve degradation and the car's pace over a distance. Cameron Waters is pleased to be returning to the team's test track, a place where he has completed hundreds of laps in the FG X. Waters also goes into the event with a relative amount of confidence after taking a clean-sweep of the Dunlop Series round in 2015. After putting together a strong performance in Perth, Chris Pither believes he can continue his strong run at Winton, a track that also seems to favour the FG X setup.
Mark Winterbottom - #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
"It was awesome to win the race in Perth purely on tyre life which is confidence boosting going into the rest of the year. Winton now is a new challenge. It's a completely different track surface and while it's the same track, it's going to be a different feel. Hopefully with tyre life and car speed we're genuinely back in contention for this championship. I'm looking forward to a good weekend at our home track and hopefully some good results to back up our weekend there last year."
Cameron Waters - #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
"It'll be good to go to Winton. We've been a bit unlucky so far this season so hopefully heading to a track that we know and that I've done a decent amount of laps on will help. Tyre life has been a focus for the team but after having a look at Frosty's data from Perth we have a bit of a direction that we can go in and hopefully start converting our qualifying speed. I had a really good weekend there in the Dunlop Series when I won the round but this championship is so close at the moment so you never know what's going to happen."
Chaz Mostert - #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
"Winton's another good one. I got the race win and three pole positions there last year which was awesome but a lot has changed since then with the new track surface and stuff like that. We've struggled a bit with inconsistency so far this year so I'm looking to getting back there and to a track where I've had a bit of success and hopefully put our first win on the board. My focus is just getting my speed back and race consistency back and converting poles into race wins. This championship is so competitive at the moment so it'd be great to get on the winners list."
Chris Pither - #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
"Our performance at Barbagallo was a real positive for me and a good confidence boost as well. I knew we could do it, we just had to get our ducks in a row and we did. Hopefully at Winton the car rolls out of the truck like it did at Perth because it was spot on. Winton's a familiar track for me and cutting laps there at the pre-season test will really help us when it comes to the race. Obviously there will be variables but it's another track where the team has traditionally performed well which gives me a bit of confidence."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"We tested here at the start of the year but obviously we haven't tested as recently as some of the other Victorian teams. We're expecting to see some fast times with the new track surface so hopefully we can keep our strong record going there. We think we've solved some of our tyre degradation issues after Frosty's run on Sunday at Perth but this track with the new surface is going to be completely different ball game when it comes to that. All four of our guys have done some laps here so experience will be on our side this time around."
EVENT NAME: Winton SuperSprint
DATE: 20 - 22 May
LOCATION: Winton, Victoria
EVENT NUMBER: 5 of 15
FORMAT: Friday – 1 x 30min co-driver practice, 2 x 60min practice; Saturday – 1 x 15min practice, 1 x 15min qualifying, 1 x 40-lap race, Sunday – 1 x 20min qualifying, 1 x 67-lap race
CIRCUIT: Winton Motor Raceway
Winton is Prodrive Racing’s home test track and as such is well-known to the team and its drivers. Despite its remote location in rural north-eastern Victoria the track is one of the longest-serving on the calendar and combines a broad combination of corners on its relatively short layout. Fast, flowing turns sit alongside tighter turns and a hairpin to provide a true test of a car’s handling.
TRACK RECORD: 1m22.52s – Jason Bright (2014)
PRA BEST RESULT: 1st – Jason Bright (2006), Mark Winterbottom (2013, 2014, 2015), Chaz Mostert (2015)
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 894
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 852
3) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 846
4) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 816
12) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 563
20) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 460
24) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 313
1) Triple Eight: 1655
2) HRT: 1402
3) Garry Rogers: 1317
4) Prodrive Racing (Australia): 1276