Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

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.

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DRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 7th
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.”

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Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 10th
Race: 21st

“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.”

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Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 8th
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.”

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Chris Pither – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 20th
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.”

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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.”

DUNLOP SERIES
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:
Qualifying: 1st
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:
Qualifying: 3rd
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.”

Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Chaz Mostert has narrowly missed out on the top ten in the final outing at the Sydney 500 after starting in 19th place.

Following a less-than ideal start to the race, a strong engineering strategy and multiple safety cars elevated the Supercheap Auto Racing FG X through the field.

A further late safety car pushed Mostert up to 10th, before falling to 11th at the hands of James Moffat on newer tyres.

Mark Winterbottom was pleased with changes made between this morning’s qualifying and today’s final race for an improved car setup, where after an early-race mistake, he was able to recover to 13th place.

Winterbottom was the only PRA car to pit under a late safety car for new tyres, enabling him to finish 12th overall.

Despite further struggles with the Super Black Racing Ford, Chris Pither finished 18th overall in his final race with the Kiwi squad.

A disappointed Cameron Waters is unhurt following a mid-race crash, with the Monster Energy Ford suffering race-ending damage and a frustrating end to the season.

Up until that point Waters was pleased with the car’s performance, having found a positive direction for car 6.

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DRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 13th
Race 29: 12th

“Today was a tough end to a tough weekend and certainly was not what we had imagined heading into the final event of the year. We just didn’t have the package to fight at the front. I am not happy to relinquish the #1 on the car as we worked so hard, for so long, to get it. But none of us are happy about it and we will be doing everything possible in the off-season to come out hard at the start of 2017.”

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Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 15th
Race 29: DNF

“I was looking pretty okay and we had improved the car since yesterday and I could fight inside the top 10 which was encouraging. Tyre life was lot better which was what we struggled with yesterday so that was a positive development. But then I got a little bit of inside kerb at turn eight and that fired me into the fence. I am massively gutted for the team, our fans and sponsors. We have some work to do over the off-season but I know we’ll come out firing next year.”

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Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 19th
Race 29: 11th

“It was a bit of a wild one again today. We just didn’t have the pace which was frustrating but we changed a heap of things after qualifying and it certainly was a better race car than we had yesterday. I got caught up in an incident on the first lap which didn’t help but we pressed on and I thought we might get back into the top 10 but we fell one place short. It was nice to be back racing this year and I’ve really enjoyed being back in the car after my time out late last year. We all want a lot more and I am already hungry to get going in Adelaide.”

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Chris Pither – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 26th
Race 29: 18th

“It was a disappointing end to the season. We didn’t qualify well enough and it was tough going all day. I just couldn’t get the car handling as I liked, we pushed on in the race but I heavily flat spotted a tyre and had to make an extra spot which put us out of contention. I’d like to thank the team for all of your efforts. It’s been great to drive for a team like Prodrive Racing and represent my country with Super Black.”

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Tim Edwards – Team Principal:

“It’s been a tough year this year and this event hasn’t been any different. We made some pretty drastic changes between qualifying and the race after our efforts there so it was good to see at least a slight improvement there. The positives to take were that our tyre life was better and we have more drive which was good to see but there is still work to do. I’d like to thank the drivers and team for their efforts this year and the fans for sticking by us and supporting us through a tough year. Congratulations to Garry Jacobson, Jack Le Brocq and our Dunlop Series crew on the championship win and a fantastic season.”

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DUNLOP SERIES
Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Garry Jacobson has been crowned the 2016 Dunlop Series Champion in the final race at the Sydney 500 after a consistent first year with the team.

Now a back-to-back Dunlop Series winning outfit, the Prodrive Racing Australia duo of Jacobson and Jack Le Brocq finish the season in first and second place with a 169 point lead over the rest of the field.

In a strong season, Le Brocq took home the Sydney round win after claiming first place in races one and two.

Despite starting on pole, a conservative approach saw Jacobson finish fifth in the final race to ensure his championship win.

To add to their list of achievements, Le Brocq and Jacobson finish the season with the most amount of pole positions, with six apiece.

Jack Le Brocq – #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 2nd
Race 2: 1st

“It’s been an up and down season. We’ve had really good speed with the car all year and the guys at Prodrive Racing have taught me a lot. It’s one of those things, you have a couple of bad rounds and it puts you back in the championship. Garry was more consistent this year than what we were but coming into this weekend I wanted to make sure that we won both races, we did that and I’m really proud of the team and the guys and everyone who’s helped me to get here.”

Garry Jacobson – #6 Challenger Valve PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 1st
Race 2: 5th

“It’s an absolutely amazing feeling to win the Dunlop Series Championship. I can’t thank all of my sponsors, family, friends and the team enough. I’m really proud that they’ve been with me for this journey and that we’ve been able to do this. I’ve learnt so much this year being with this team. Being involved with a team like this for the first time and racing against Jack Le Brocq toe to toe and pushing me outside of my comfort zone was a wonderful opportunity to learn. I’m really happy with the results.”

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SANDOWN 500 – RACE RESULTS
RACE 28
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

RACE 29
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
2) Garth Tander – HRT
3) David Reynolds – Erebus
4) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
5) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport
11) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing
12) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing
18) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing
DNF) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing

DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 3368
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 3168
3) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 2806
4) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2770
5) Will Davison – Tekno: 2589
6) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 2489
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 2361
19) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 1423