Prodrive Racing (Australia) is confident for an improvement in its street-circuit form at the closing round of the 2016 Supercars Championship as the team looks to add further wins to its 2016 tally.
In his final event as the current Supercars Champion, Mark Winterbottom insists he is as hungry as ever to claim race wins and re-claim the title in 2017 as he prepares to attack the challenging Homebush track for the last time.
Off the back of a successful rookie test day at Winton, Cameron Waters will put his best foot forward for his first outing at Sydney Olympic Park in the Supercars category.
Having claimed his Dunlop Series title at the event last year, Waters cites the challenging circuit as a favourite.
Chaz Mostert will savour his final outing on the street circuit, a track he has enjoyed over the past few years, and the final event for the 2016 Supercars season.
With a three-month break looming for the category, Mostert says every driver will be aiming for the top step of the podium.
The Sydney Olympic Park event marks a full year in a Supercar for Kiwi driver Chris Pither, who is confident data obtained from last year's event will aid in in tracking his progress over the past year.
Mark Winterbottom - #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
"Coming into the last race it's going to be a bit sad to take the number one off the car but what it's going to do is create more hunger because we know how good it's been having the number one on the car, so I'm desperate to get it back but we'll put it on loan for 12 months and then fight hard next year. It's a big weekend. We obviously go to Homebush for the last time as well and being a Sydney boy it's sad to see that go. There's still a lot to race for. It's so physical so it can either reward you or hate you but hopefully we can go out with a couple of wins."
Cameron Waters - #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
"I'm excited to go back to Homebush. It's a track that I really enjoy. It's really similar to the Gold Coast circuit with the walls and kerbs and all of that stuff. Winning the championship there last year was really cool. I'm keen to get there after the test day I had last week. We found a few things with the car and my driving so we made good progress. I'm confident we can finish the year off strong."
Chaz Mostert - #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
"It's a fantastic time to be a part of the Championship and to be in the series to race at Homebush for the last time. It's a very exciting track. Big kerbs, and the car has to work very well there so we'll see how we go. It's a good event to build momentum for next year and everyone guns for a good result there because it's the last time we get to race these things until March next year. We'll go racing with all guns blazing and I want to win it, for sure."
Chris Pither - #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
"I've had a great year in the Super Black Racing Ford powered by Ice Break. My experience in this car here last year will help. We have data to look back on and it will be good to track my progress over the year and see where improvements have been made. You need to be 100% committed at Homebush and there is no room for error. Hopefully we can end the year on a high."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"After the Gold Coast we've made a few changes for the final street circuit event. There are a few things we need to work on with this style of track so we will be watching to see if these changes have an impact. Ending the year on a high note is important to us as a team so we will be doing everything we can to go out there and bring home some more silverware. It's fantastic to have Garry and Jack leading the Dunlop Series charge and to bring home another Dunlop Series Championship, but we need to make sure we match that success in the main series now."
Prodrive Racing (Australia) looks set to become the first ever team to claim a 1-2 finish in the Dunlop Series Championship with series leaders Garry Jacobson and Jack Le Brocq almost certain to take home the top two spots. Jacobson leads Le Brocq by 166 points ahead of the final round at the Sydney Olympic Park street circuit, where they both enjoyed strong performances in 2015. After a break since the Bathurst 1000 the pair is set to battle it out on the streets of Sydney for Prodrive Racing's maiden back-to-back Dunlop Series title.
Jack Le Brocq - #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford:
"I'm looking forward to the last round. I had a good run there last year and got my first pole position so I've always gone well there. I'm looking forward to that. The championship is Garry's to lose at the moment but to get a 1-2 for the team would be pretty awesome. We're just going to go out there and make sure we try and pole both races, win both of those and end the year on a high."
Garry Jacobson - #6 Challenger Valve PRA Ford:
"It's been an incredible year and to have a good lead and momentum going into the final round is awesome. Homebush is an exciting track and to possibly win the championship there before it switches to Newcastle would be pretty special. It's fantastic to have EXEDY come on board for this last event as well. To have their support for this round in particular is great. I hope I can do my sponsors and family proud."
EVENT NAME: Coates Hire Sydney 500
DATE: 2 – 4 December
LOCATION: Sydney Olympic Park
EVENT NUMBER: 14 of 14
FORMAT: Friday – 2 x 40-min practice; Saturday – 1 x 30-min practice, 1 x 20 minute qualifying, 1 x 74-lap race; Sunday – 1 x 20-min qualifying, 1 x Top 10 Shootout, 1 x 74-lap race
CIRCUIT: Sydney Olympic Park Street Circuit
DESCRIPTION: Set around the streets of the Olympic Park precinct the track is tough and challenging in many ways. A mixture of high and low-speed sections, divided by bumps, kerbs and camber changes give this all the hallmarks of a typical street circuit. Uniquely, the paddock area is inside a building alongside the pit lane complex.
TRACK RECORD: 1m28.38s – Craig Lowndes, 2011
PRA BEST RESULT: 1st (x2) Mark Winterbottom (2011), Will Davison (2012)
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 3089
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2898
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2596
4) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 2575
5) Will Davison – Tekno: 2403
6) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 2384
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 2235
17) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 1381
19) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 1318
1) Triple Eight: 5997
2) HRT: 3945
3) GRM: 3908
4) Prodrive Racing Australia: 3815