Prodrive Racing (Australia)'s Chaz Mostert will make his 50th Supercars event start at the season-opening Clipsal 500 with the hope of adding a win at Adelaide to his stats sheet.
Mostert claimed both a pole position and podium finish at last year's event but remains realistic on the level of competition in 2017 following the introduction of the new tyre construction.
After a productive test day at Sydney Motorsport Park last week, Mark Winterbottom is confident the team has a good setup direction for the new tyre but insists the differences in the circuit compared to the street layout of the Clipsal 500 will prove another challenge for drivers and engineers.
Winterbottom will debut a slightly different look on his FG X Ford at the season-opener, while Cameron Waters livery will be released on Wednesday evening.
Now with a full season under his belt, last year's fourth-place getter Waters will use his experience and off-season preparation to attempt to better his previous results.
Jason Bright will get his first street-circuit experience in the FG X in practice on Friday with the two, 40-minute sessions prior to qualifying to play an important part in his weekend.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
"We're ready. The test day was about four cars really looking at different setups and trying to get on top of this new tyre because if we all just did the same thing it shortens your learning curve so we got a lot out of it. Physically as a team we're ready. We took the opportunity at the test day to practice some pit stops and we also have our pre-season training camp under our belts. Car speed is what we want for Adelaide obviously and we had one car at the test day that was able to dial it in so if we can have four cars like that in Adelaide we'll be set."
Cameron Waters - #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
"I'm really excited to get to Adelaide. I went okay there last year and have since had a year of learning. I'm no longer a rookie and we had a good test so I'm excited to get to Clipsal and see how we go. It's good to get back in the car. We have our two-week break over Christmas and then we're ready to get back into it. After the test day I'm really loving it and enjoying getting back into the swing of things."
Chaz Mostert - #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
"I'm really ready to get to Adelaide. The test was really positive working with my engineer Adam De Borre again. He's got some good ideas so it wasn't a bad test day but the two tracks, Sydney Motorsport Park and Adelaide are completely different so we'll see if we can dial it in for the street circuit. We go straight to a concrete jungle and there are a lot of mistakes that can be made there but we'll be planning to have a straight car by the end of it, have a good run and see where we end up."
Jason Bright - #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
"I feel like we're in pretty good shape heading into Clipsal. I feel comfortable in the car. The Sydney test went pretty well last week so I feel like I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Clipsal is a tough event being at the end of summer in Adelaide with 30 degree days usually. It's a tough race physically and a tough circuit as well. We've seen some great racing there so hopefully we can get a good result there and start the year off on a positive."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"We have done a lot of work over the off-season in preparation for Clipsal so we're all glad that it's finally here. There was a lot to learn at our test day, and a lot of work to do to get the results to translate at a street circuit. We have a direction and a few things to run through again in practice but there's definitely something to work with. The Adelaide Parklands Circuit is one of those events where anything can happen and it's anyone's game so for us, we just need to get ourselves into a good position and fight from there."
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
Prodrive Racing (Australia)'s new-look Dunlop Super2 Series line-up will make their debut at the Clipsal 500 on Thursday, with Garry Jacobson set to show off a new livery with the number one for the first time. Following a constructive test day at Winton last week, Jacobson now holds high expectations for the 2017 season and believes Adelaide is the perfect starting block for his new season. New teammate and Adelaide-local Josh Kean was thankful for the pre-season test day with the team, citing substantial differences between his new and old supercars. Despite the differences Kean is confident that his first hit-out with the new team in his hometown can be successful as his comfort level in the car grows.
Garry Jacobson - #1 McQuinn Electrical PRA Ford:
"I am approaching this year a lot like last year, just trying to get the best result possible. There's a few bonuses going into Adelaide with the number one on the car for the first time and I'll be enjoying that for sure. The mentality of the weekend is still just to stay focused and push hard and Clipsal has been a really good place for me. I love Adelaide the town and I like the track because it's the first place I ever got a race win and pole position so I'll be doing my best to replicate that. The excitement from the test day and training camp with the crew is something I'm going to use to motivate myself to get some good results again."
Josh Kean - #5 Wynns Racing PRA Ford:
"The test day was good. I love the new look of the car. The FG X is very different to what I'm used to so it was good to have the test day before Clipsal to get used to it and have a feel. It was really good to work with the team, see how everyone works and spend some time with Sam (Scaffidi) on the engineering side so I'm really happy with all of that. I'm pretty excited to get to Clipsal. I think the car should be good. Like I said it's pretty different to what I'm used to but in a good way so I'm looking forward to my home event."
EVENT NAME: Clipsal 500 Adelaide
DATE: 2 - 5 March, 2017
LOCATION: Adelaide Parklands Circuit
EVENT NUMBER: 1 of 14
FORMAT: Friday – 2 x 40-minute practice, 1 x 20-minute qualifying; Saturday – 1 x 20-minute practice session, 1 x Top 10 Shootout, 1 x 78-lap race; Sunday – 1 x 20-minute qualifying, 1 x Top 10 Shootout, 1 x 78-lap race
CIRCUIT: Adelaide Parklands
DESCRIPTION: Most of the 3.22km track uses the former Australian Formula One Grand Prix street circuit designed in conjunction with former F1 World Champion, Keke Rosberg. Renowned as the best street circuit in the world after its 11-year tenure as the home of the Grand Prix, the fast layout leaves absolutely no room for errors and its concrete barriers have often provided a stark reminder to V8 Supercar drivers of just how hard it can bite if mistakes are made. The event is one of the biggest domestic sporting events in the country.
PRA BEST RESULT: 1st – Will Davison (2012)