Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Chaz Mostert has topped practice at the Townsville 400, finishing with a time 0.16s clear of the field.
Mostert’s efforts topped off a solid day of running for the PRA squad with Mark Winterbottom finishing fourth after also running in first place for part of practice two.
The return to form is a positive step for the team which endured a tough outing at the previous round in Darwin.
A late change in the wrong direction saw Winterbottom drop from the top three, with The Bottle-O driver confident there is more to come from the car.
Jason Bright also enjoyed time at the top of the time sheet, moving to second place early in the second session. Despite not making the most of the car on his final run, Bright is hopeful of a strong weekend with positives signs shown throughout practice.
Cameron Waters believes the time sheets do not reflect the car’s performance today with the Monster Energy driver pleased with the team’s progress. Waters felt tyre quality hampered his performance, while a missed tyre run at the end of the day saw him finish 17th.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 15th – 1m13.50s
Practice 2: 4th – 1m12.53s
“Today was pretty good. It’s nice to be a bit further up there. The car is feeling okay. We’re really just chasing turn, that’s the main thing we’re struggling with at the moment. On the lap where we went p1 it felt really good but we made a change after that which took us backwards a little bit so we’ll reverse that overnight I think, see if we can make any other improvements and come out firing tomorrow.”
Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 19th – 1m13.73s
Practice 2: 17th – 1m12.96s
“We mainly just struggled a bit with the tyres today. The car felt pretty good all day but we just didn’t get a good time on the board. It was good to be in the top 10 for a lot of the second session, I reckon we could be sitting around where Frosty is on the times but I didn’t get a good lap in on the greens. We’ll look at it all overnight and I think we’ll be okay for qualifying tomorrow.”
Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 6th – 1m13.15s
Practice 2: 1st – 1m12.26s
“It was a pretty good session for us. Obviously a big turnaround from Darwin and it’s a credit to all of the guys and girls at PRA to go through the data from the last round and try and figure out where we’ve tracked down the wrong path at the last couple of events. The car felt pretty good in the window today as was pretty reasonable from the start as well. I think that we only needed to do a couple of changes .It was pretty hard to get an idea on the direction that we needed to head but by the end of practice two I think we had something we were reasonably happy with so we found a few changes helped today but a few that didn’t as well.”
Jason Bright – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 21st – 1m13.78s
Practice 2: 14th – 1m12.86s
“I am pretty happy but I’m not happy with where we ended up right at the end there. We didn’t have a good run on the green tyres. I am happy with the pace that the car had in practice two there and I feel very comfortable in the car. There’re a couple of little areas that we need to work on but I don’t think we’ll be changing too much going into tomorrow. The cars are obviously pretty strong looking at Chaz and Frosty so I think we’re on for a reasonable weekend.”
Chris O’Toole – Team Manager:
“The team did a pretty good job today. To finish the day in p1 is encouraging after a tough weekend last time around. We’re definitely headed in the right direction. All going well I think the cars can be strong in qualifying tomorrow. They are long races though so we need to make sure we get everything right, not just a few things.”
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Garry Jacobson has featured among the fastest drivers on day one at the Townsville 400, finishing the day’s first session in first place. Further changes saw Jacobson move down the order in practice two, with work to be done overnight to fix a vibration issue. Josh Kean was pleased with a final change made to the Wynns Racing FG X, satisfied with the behaviour of the car on his final flyer. Despite the improvement not being displayed on the time sheet, Kean remains confident of a strong qualifying session tomorrow.
Garry Jacobson – #1 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 1st – 1m15.44s
Practice 2: 7th – 1m15.12s
“The car had a bit of a vibration in the last session which we need to fix. We lost time with that. I wasn’t sure what was causing it or how hard to push it so I just stayed conservative. The first practice session was good. We had a really good car in that one but I wasn’t so sure on the changes we made later in the day. We’ll take a look at it all overnight. I know we have a good car there somewhere, it’s just about putting it all together now.”
Josh Kean – #5 Wynns Racing PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 16th – 1m16.71s
Practice 2: 14th – 1m15.60s
“The first session was pretty tough but by the end of practice we were sitting alright. Our final flyer was awesome, it was heaps better than what we’d been doing earlier in the day, heaps better. I was really happy with it. We made a change pretty late and it was a good gain. We still need to take a proper look at the data and see where they were made but we’re looking okay heading into tomorrow.”
1) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske: 1330
2) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske: 1320
3) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 1314
4) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 1152
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 1026
6) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 924
9) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 889
21) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing: 555
1) DJR Team Penske: 2685
2) Triple Eight: 2466
3) Prodrive Racing Australia: 1848