2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipProdrive Racing (Australia) has put on another promising display of form at the Townsville 400 with Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert completing race 14 in the top five.

The strong result was pleasing for Winterbottom who was proud to see all three of his teammates competing with him in the top-10 shootout.

Chaz Mostert ran an alternate strategy to his teammates, pitting for his first stop later in the race to make the most of a fresher tyre. Mostert believes the strategy was a good call after also taking on more fuel at the stop, enabling him to catch up to Winterbottom in the final stint.

Tyre degradation played a large part in today’s racing with both Cameron Waters and Jason Bright falling from their qualifying positions.

A lack of turn increased rear tyre degradation for Bright who, like Waters featured in a number of on-track battles throughout the race.

All four drivers were impressed with the team’s step forward and believe this will provide a platform for continued improvement moving forward.

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipDRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 3rd – 1m12.30s
Top-10 Shootout: 5th – 1m12.42s
Race 14: 4th
“It was a good day. To have four cars in the top-10 shootout is a massive thing. Although they didn’t end up first-second-third-fourth it’s still a massive achievement to get four cars in. It’s nice to see the whole team going forward, not just one driver. It was a pretty positive weekend but I thought fourth was probably the best result I was going to get with the car that I had. We strategized well, played to our strengths got the position I thought we’d probably get. Can’t complain, a third and a fourth is not a bad weekend. You don’t give up, you keep trying and we’ll get there.”

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipCameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 7th – 1m12.45s
Top-10 Shootout: 8th – 1m12.66s
Race 14: 14th
“It was kind of an up and down day. In qualifying I didn’t quite put my lap together but I was still seventh and still made the shootout which I was surprised by. It was really cool to make the top 10 but I think we missed the setup in the race a bit. I had a quick car but just no tyre life. We’ll go back to the drawing boards and work out where the other cars are where we are and find a better base for the next round.”

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipChaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 2nd – 1m12.29s
Top-10 Shootout: 6th – 1m12.45s
Race 14: 5th
“Overall it was a pretty good weekend to get two top-fives. It was a bit like follow the leader out there with my mate Frosty. I am reasonably happy. We know it was a good run for us this weekend. In Darwin we were left scratching our heads. This weekend we had a good competitive run. I think we know the areas we’re lacking in and we know the areas that we need to work on. One of those is a bit of tyre life to the guys around us. Overall I am pretty happy with the weekend, we had some good qualifying speed, some good races and good points.”

Townsville 1023Jason Bright – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 8th – 1m12.46s
Top-10 Shootout: 10th – 1m28.99s
Race 14: 19th
“It was fun. I was happy to get in the 10. I feel like our one lap pace was good this weekend. Yesterday was a bit of an anomaly in qualifying but with our race pace, I obviously didn’t get to do a race with the car right yesterday so I didn’t really know what to expect today. We went into the race with a couple of changes to try and make the drive better and I ended up with a lot of understeer which in turn hurts the rear tyres because you have to use them to make it turn. I didn’t have anywhere near the tyre life that we needed to keep it up there and it was a bit of a struggle. It wasn’t where we wanted to end up but I think pace wise we can take something from the weekend. There’s still a little bit to learn in tyre life but hopefully that’ll come soon.”

Chris O’Toole – Team Manager:
“This weekend has been quite positive. To have all four cars in the top-10 shootout is a huge achievement for us and the whole team should be immensely proud. We worked hard in the lead up to this event and harder all weekend and while we didn’t get on the podium again we are definitely on the right track. Tyre degradation was a pretty big problem for us today so we’ll be looking closely at that.”

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipDUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s tough weekend in the Dunlop Super2 Series has continued with both Garry Jacobson and Josh Kean suffering damage in race two. The opening laps of the race were action packed with Josh taking advantage of a strong start. Fighting hard to re-gain position, Jacobson sustained damage to the front right of the car, pitting for repairs before re-joining the field. Josh Kean’s unlucky streak has continued after colliding with car 38 which had spun on the exit of turn three. Left with nowhere to go, Kean will take no points from his outing at Townsville after damaging the front and rear of the car.

Garry Jacobson – #1 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 4th – 1m14.45s
Race 2: 18th
“We had a really good car in qualifying but we weren’t able to quite get the lap we needed. The car was really strong again in the race but it was pretty tough racing out there. I came together with a car and had hurt the front which was disappointing. I was glad we got out before the safety car but it wasn’t the end to the weekend that we wanted. A big thanks to my team for all of their hard work this weekend. Hopefully we can get some better results at the next one.”

Josh Kean – #5 Wynns Racing PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 11th – 1m14.86s
Race 2: DNF
“Not the race that we wanted again today. Qualifying was pretty good, our car was feeling good but we had damage to the steering from early on and that didn’t help when I got to turn three a bit later on. I just had nowhere to go there. Obviously a disappointing way to end the weekend because I know we can get the results we want.”

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipRACE 14 RESULTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
2) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske
3) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
4) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
14) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
19) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske: 1608
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 1602
3) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske: 1450
4) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 1377
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 1257
6) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 1173
9) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 1063
21) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing: 639

TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP
1) DJR Team Penske: 3093
2) Triple Eight: 2979
3) Prodrive Racing Australia: 2271