Prodrive Racing (Australia) endured a rough outing in the penultimate race at the Sydney 500 with tyre life and collisions hampering a strong start to the race. Mark Winterbottom pushed up to fifth from his p7 starting position before an aggressive Shane Van Gisbergen ran up the inside of The Bottle-O Ford. The initial bump and subsequent damage to the front left of car 1 prompted a front bar change, putting Winterbottom 5 laps down. In an alternate strategy, Cameron Waters was one of the first to pit in the 74-lap race with the aim of moving up the field. Rapidly deteriorating tyres saw Waters drop positions mid-race and at races end, with a lock up also thrown into the mix. Chaz Mostert suffered a similar fate, however named driver error for a move that put the Supercheap Auto racer down to 17th on the final lap. Chris Pither's day was also over early after a hit on lap one damaged the rear of car 111.
Mark Winterbottom - #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Race 28: 23rd
“I am disappointed with the result as we had such a great start and were in the mix early. Unfortunately I got turned around and had several impacts which tore up the front bar and meant we had to get it fixed. As a result we dropped laps and after that we just circulated to get as many points as we can. We lost a bit of ground in the driver and team championships today so we’ll battle on tomorrow and finish fighting all the way to the last lap.”
Cameron Waters - #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
“It was a struggle today which was not what we thought given we qualified so close to the Mark and Chaz. We couldn’t get the tyres to last which made it hard to pull the car up and I had a couple of moments which dropped me back. Earlier in the stints I was okay and fighting fairly high up so we’ll look at the data and find a way to ensure we can stay in the battle to the end. I am pumped for tomorrow and to end the season on a high.”
Chaz Mostert - #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Race 28: 17th
“I didn’t have a very good day today. I drove like a bit of a rookie and just made too many errors. It was a pretty feisty race from the start and had plenty of battles throughout. I locked up a couple of times and ended down the escape road which cost me a few places each time and then at the end I was battling a guy with better tyres and came off second best. All of that aside we learnt a lot today so I plan to come out and have a big crack tomorrow.”
Chris Pither - #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
Race 28: DNF
"There isn't not much to say about today really, it just didn't go our way. We didn't qualify well enough and sat in the pack and that was that really. I got punted in the right side and that was our day done. We've lost valuable track time again but there's still one more day so we'll aim to finish on a high."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"Today was tough. This track is never kind and it proved itself today. There are a number of things we will be looking at tonight including tyre life. Chaz and Cam were in relatively good positions and in both cases it was car balance issues that saw them drop back so we need to be doing something there. On a brighter note, Jack did a fantastic job today in the Dunlop Series as did Garry. They've been competitive all year and they have continued that form this weekend."
Prodrive Racing (Australia)'s Jack Le Brocq has enjoyed a clean sweep of the Dunlop Series sessions on Saturday at the Sydney 500, claiming pole and finishing first with a two second lead. A clean start set up the remainder of the 17 lap race for Le Brocq, who led from start to finish. Garry Jacobson was focused on a clean race after starting third, looking to protect his championship lead. A slow start off the mark saw Jacobson drop to fourth, before dropping to fifth in the final few laps. Jacobson now holds a 127 point lead over Le Brocq.
Jack Le Brocq - #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford:
Race 1: 1st
"It was a good day for us today. Awesome to walk away with a pole and then follow that up with a win this afternoon. It's exactly what we wanted to do this weekend and it has kept our championship alive until tomorrow afternoon. We will be aiming to repeat what we did today and hopefully finish the year on a high with another win."
Garry Jacobson - #6 Challenger Valve PRA Ford:
Race 1: 5th
"Today I was happy with how the car felt in qualifying. There were a few situations where I got caught up in traffic so I think there is a bit left in the car and myself ahead of tomorrow's qualifying session. I'm looking forward to showing a bit more speed there. Ahead of the race I think I've been reminded by every member of Prodrive Racing to finish for the weekend so that dictated a couple of my risk taking in today's race. I probably could have had a better outcome than fifth. When Bryce Fullwood and Todd Hazelwood went to pass me I decided to let them go and let them win the day today so that I can win the day tomorrow."
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
2) Garth Tander - HRT
3) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
4) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport
5) James Courtney - HRT
17) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing
21) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing
23) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing
DNF) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 3218
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 3048
3) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 2695
4) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2686
5) Will Davison – Tekno: 2499
6) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 2420
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 2289
18) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 1423
21) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 1318
1) Triple Eight: 6276
2) HRT: 4194
3) GRM: 4061
4) Prodrive Racing Australia: 3893