Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Prodrive Racing (Australia) has claimed a podium finish at the Auckland SuperSprint at the hands of Chaz Mostert in a clean race 25 for the Supercheap Auto racer.

Mark Winterbottom was pleased with the consistency of the car while improvements made overnight for car six were positive, Cameron Waters still believes further progress can be made for Sunday.

Race 24

The opening race at the Auckland SuperSprint was an eventful one for the Prodrive Racing stable following a rarely seen incident at the beginning of the race.

After a clean start to race 24 by all drivers, a red flag on lap two caused the field to line up on the grid with pit lane blocked by the Jason Bright entry.

The incident saw Chris Pither receive a pit lane penalty after making contact with Bright’s car prior the crash.

After making up one spot early in the piece, a mistake by Chaz Mostert in what he described as a difficult car to drive put him to the back of the field after spearing off at the hairpin.

With little damage to the car, Mostert was able to make up three positions throughout the remainder of the race.

 

Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Race 25

It was smooth sailing after the first lap for both Mark Winterbottom and Cameron Waters, who held fourth and 12th respectively until the end of the 35 laps.

A consistent race 25 saw Chaz Mostert and Chris Pither finish the 25 lap race in their starting positions in an incident-free run.

Adjustments to both cars 1 and 55 between races improved an understeer issue that has plagued each of the cars throughout the weekend.

With a strong car Mark Winterbottom improved one position in the opening laps to finish fifth, but is adamant there is more to come from the car.

Further struggles with understeer and stability saw Cameron Waters drop from 11th to 17th throughout the course of the race, an issue he is confident can be rectified overnight.

NZ6

DRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Race 24 Qualifying: 4th
Race 24: 4th
Race 25 Qualifying: 6th
Race 25: 5th

“We didn’t quite have the speed today. I would like to have the car I had yesterday but we haven’t got it. A fourth and a fifth is still a good result. We just need to try and get that Friday car back for me and if we can get that I think we can definitely race up the front. It was a clean race which was good but we just need a bit more speed.”

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Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Race 24 Qualifying: 11th
Race 24: 12th
Race 25 Qualifying: 11th
Race 25: 17th

“Quali wasn’t too bad, we made a pretty good step forward with the car and finished 11th in both which wasn’t too bad considering where we were yesterday where there was a little bit left in the car and a little bit left in me so that was positive. The first race was okay, we just struggled with braking and turn. We changed it a little bit for the next race but it didn’t really make much of a difference to be honest but we have a good direction for tomorrow and hopefully we’re on the pace.”

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Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Race 24 Qualifying: 10th
Race 24: 21st
Race 25 Qualifying: 3rd
Race 25: 3rd

“Obviously the first race today didn’t quite go to plan. I was running about ninth and really struggled with the balance of the car which just put me in catch up mode to the guys around me. I tried really hard but broke a bit too late and it was a bit unsettled into the hairpin and locked the front. A bit frustrating there going off the track and going to the back of the field and finished 21st. In the last race I started third, I had a good start and stayed out of trouble and trucked on. The car was much better in that race.”

Chris Pither – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
Race 24 Qualifying: 24th
Race 24: 24th
Race 25 Qualifying: 24th
Race 25: 24th

“Bit of a tough first day at Pukekohe Park. Just struggled to find a comfortable balance with the Super Black Ford powered by Ice Break. It didn’t go our way in the first race with a drive through penalty. I’m disappointed with that incident, obviously it put us back in race one. In race two, I just didn’t have the balance to do much with it so hopefully we can re-group overnight and come out with a better car for tomorrow.”

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Tim Edwards – Team Principal:

“Again, positives and negatives to take from today. It was fantastic to be up on the podium and to have Chaz up there as well. In this format, unless you have a car that is 100 per cent it is incredibly hard to make much ground at the front of the field, particularly once the race gets going. That considered both Chaz and Frosty did a great job but we’re still struggling with a few little things. We’ll review the data and hopefully make progress for tomorrow.

Prodrive Racing (Australia) has taken home its second, first place trophy for 2016 in race 26 at the Auckland SuperSprint. Mark Winterbottom’s The Bottle-O FG X returned to pace on the final day at Pukekohe racing out to a strong lead in the day’s opening race.

Winterbottom has finished second in the standings for the coveted Jason Richards Memorial Trophy after a consistent weekend on track.

Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Race 26
Mark Winterbottom ended Prodrive Racing’s race win drought, claiming the top spot in the penultimate race at the Auckland SuperSprint.

From fourth position Winterbottom made a stellar start, crossing the line with a one second gap over Scott Pye on the opening lap.

A mistake the Triple Eight duo further into the race gifted The Bottle-O driver a five second lead, which he extended to 10 seconds by the end of the 35 laps.

Chaz Mostert dropped down to ninth place after starting in sixth, but was able to make up ground to finish in his starting position.

Cameron Waters was able to make up one spot to finish 20th, with consistent times making it hard to pass. Despite some struggles after falling to the end of the pack early, Chris Pither was able to regain spots lost to finish 23rd.

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Race 27
The rain held off for the final race with each of the Prodrive Racing drivers finishing the race in their starting position.

Both Chaz Mostert and Mark Winterbottom managed a strong start, falling into line after the first few corners.

The two followed closely behind Scott McLaughlin for the duration of the race.

Cameron Waters managed to make up positions early in the race but was unable to hold on.

Chris Pither will focus on a strong final performance at Homebush after a disappointing outing at Pukekohe.

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DRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Race 26 Qualifying: 4th
Race 26: 1st
Race 27 Qualifying: 5th
Race 27: 5th

“It was good to get a win today. It was not expected really. I had a good start and put down some good laps and then all of the mess unfolded behind so it was awesome to get the second win of the year. I thought one wasn’t enough so it was great to get another win. That last race we had a really good start but it’s hard with your teammate. We just kind of sat there and finished fourth and fifth with two straight cars and a couple of good results so it was a pretty good day.”

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Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Race 26 Qualifying: 21st
Race 26: 20th
Race 27 Qualifying: 17th
Race 27: 17th

“We just didn’t have any pace today. My pace in race one today wasn’t too bad, it was easy top 10 but when you qualify where we did you race there. I made a little mistake during the race and ran into a car and got a penalty but that’s racing. In race two we tried to make the car better and didn’t really change it much. We just struggled with the car this weekend and finding a rhythm around here.”

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Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Race 26 Qualifying: 6th
Race 26: 6th
Race 27 Qualifying: 4th
Race 27: 4th

“I tried my hardest out there but finishing sixth in the first one and fourth in the second one. A good amount of points there heading into the last round but we still struggled with the balance of the car. It was hard to race out there with everyone on the same tyre so we’ll look forward to Homebush. Hopefully we can dial the car in, see what we can do and we’ll go from there.”

Chris Pither – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
Race 26 Qualifying: 22nd
Race 26: 23rd
Race 27 Qualifying: 22nd
Race 27: 22nd

“A pretty tough weekend. Unfortunately we just couldn’t find a comfortable balance with the car over the entire weekend. We had a few issues down the back of the pack so overall some disappoint results but we’ll regroup and try to learn from it. We’ll try and come out firing at Sydney for a strong end to the year.”

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Tim Edwards – Team Principal:

“We had a much stronger car today. To get another race win on the board was fantastic. It was a long time between drinks but two podiums in one weekend is a positive step forward. We know there are a few things we need to work on before we go to another street circuit in Homebush. We will definitely take the positives from this weekend and to see Frosty be consistent and sit second in the points for the race meet shows that we are not too far off.”

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AUCKLAND SUPERSPRINT – RACE RESULTS

RACE 25
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
3) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
4) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske
5) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
17) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
24) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing

RACE 24
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
2) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
3) Scott McLaughlin – GRM
4) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
5) Garth Tander – HRT
12) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
21) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
24) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing

RACE 26
1) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
2) Scott Pye – DJR Team Penske
3) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
4) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske
5) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight
6) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
20) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
23) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing

RACE 27
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
2) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
3) Scott McLaughlin – GRM
4) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
5) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
17) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
22 Chris Pither– Super Black Racing