Prodrive Racing (Australia) has claimed a podium finish at the Auckland SuperSprint at the hands of Chaz Mostert in a clean race 25 for the Supercheap Auto racer. Mark Winterbottom was pleased with the consistency of the car while improvements made overnight for car six were positive, Cameron Waters still believes further progress can be made for Sunday.
The opening race at the Auckland SuperSprint was an eventful one for the Prodrive Racing stable following a rarely seen incident at the beginning of the race. After a clean start to race 24 by all drivers, a red flag on lap two caused the field to line up on the grid with pit lane blocked by the Jason Bright entry. The incident saw Chris Pither receive a pit lane penalty after making contact with Bright's car prior the crash. After making up one spot early in the piece, a mistake by Chaz Mostert in what he described as a difficult car to drive put him to the back of the field after spearing off at the hairpin. With little damage to the car, Mostert was able to make up three positions throughout the remainder of the race. It was smooth sailing after the first lap for both Mark Winterbottom and Cameron Waters, who held fourth and 12th respectively until the end of the 35 laps.
A consistent race 25 saw Chaz Mostert and Chris Pither finish the 25 lap race in their starting positions in an incident-free run. Adjustments to both cars 1 and 55 between races improved an understeer issue that has plagued each of the cars throughout the weekend. With a strong car Mark Winterbottom improved one position in the opening laps to finish fifth, but is adamant there is more to come from the car. Further struggles with understeer and stability saw Cameron Waters drop from 11th to 17th throughout the course of the race, an issue he is confident can be rectified overnight.
Mark Winterbottom - #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Race 24 Qualifying: 4th
Race 24 Result: 4th
Race 25 Qualifying: 6th
Race 25 Result: 5th
"We didn't quite have the speed today. I would like to have the car I had yesterday but we haven't got it. A fourth and a fifth is still a good result. We just need to try and get that Friday car back for me and if we can get that I think we can definitely race up the front. It was a clean race which was good but we just need a bit more speed."
Cameron Waters - #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Race 24 Qualifying: 11th
Race 24 Result: 12th
Race 25 Qualifying: 11th
Race 25 Result: 17th
"Quali wasn't too bad, we made a pretty good step forward with the car and finished 11th in both which wasn't too bad considering where we were yesterday where there was a little bit left in the car and a little bit left in me so that was positive. The first race was okay, we just struggled with braking and turn. We changed it a little bit for the next race but it didn't really make much of a difference to be honest but we have a good direction for tomorrow and hopefully we're on the pace."
Chaz Mostert - #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Race 24 Qualifying: 10th
Race 24 Result: 21st
Race 25 Qualifying: 3rd
Race 25 Result: 3rd
"Obviously the first race today didn't quite go to plan. I was running about ninth and really struggled with the balance of the car which just put me in catch up mode to the guys around me. I tried really hard but broke a bit too late and it was a bit unsettled into the hairpin and locked the front. A bit frustrating there going off the track and going to the back of the field and finished 21st. In the last race I started third, I had a good start and stayed out of trouble and trucked on. The car was much better in that race."
Chris Pither - #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
Race 24 Qualifying: 24th
Race 24 Result: 24th
Race 25 Qualifying: 24th
Race 25 Result: 24th
"Bit of a tough first day at Pukekohe Park. Just struggled to find a comfortable balance with the Super Black Ford powered by Ice Break. It didn't go our way in the first race with a drive through penalty. I'm disappointed with that incident, obviously it put us back in race one. In race two, I just didn't have the balance to do much with it so hopefully we can re-group overnight and come out with a better car for tomorrow."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"Again, positives and negatives to take from today. It was fantastic to be up on the podium and to have Chaz up there as well. In this format, unless you have a car that is 100 per cent it is incredibly hard to make much ground at the front of the field, particularly once the race gets going. That considered both Chaz and Frosty did a great job but we're still struggling with a few little things. We'll review the data and hopefully make progress for tomorrow.
RACE 25 RESULTS
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
3) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
4) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske
5) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
17) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
24) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing
RACE 24 RESULTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
2) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
3) Scott McLaughlin - GRM
4) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
5) Garth Tander - HRT
12) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
21) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
24) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 2956
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2808
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2485
4) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 2485
5) Will Davison – Tekno: 2325
6) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 2254
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 2124
16) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 1357
19) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 1281
1) Triple Eight: 5774
2) HRT: 3791
3) GRM: 3723
4) Prodrive Racing Australia: 3636