GC Sunday 3
PRODRIVE RACING – GOLD COAST RACE 2 REPORT
For the first time in team history, Prodrive Racing (Australia) have won the Pirtek Enduro Cup thanks to a mighty effort from the #55 Supercheap Auto crew and drivers Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen. Following a third place finish at Sandown, salvaging tenth at Bathurst, and winning Saturday’s Race 21, Mostert and Owen finished seventh on Sunday at the Gold Coast 600 to take the Enduro crown. It was the first race at Gold Coast in ten years to be completed without a safety car on the challenging 2.96 km street circuit.
Contesting a completely dry Sunday following a completely wet Saturday, the Bottle-O drivers Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto led the team on Sunday with a fifth place finish, while Jason Bright and Garry Jacobson (#56 MEGA Fuels FG X) finished their Enduro run with a 16th place finish. Sandown 500 winners and Saturday’s runners up Cameron Waters and Richie Stanaway suffered contact on Lap 34 with Car 888 that bent the steering arm on the #6 Monster Energy FG X, costing the team two laps while pitting under green flag conditions and leading to a 21st place finish.
Sunday’s race saw Mostert lose six points in the championship hunt, but remains fourth, 126 points out of the lead with four races left on the 2017 calendar. Winterbottom’s top five combined with the misfortune of other drivers saw him leap from tenth back to seventh in the championship fight, with Waters eighth and Bright 20th as the series next heads to Pukekohe in New Zealand in two weeks.
GC Sunday 6
DRIVERS’ VIEW
#5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford
Qualified: 5th, 1m10.58s
Top Ten Shootout: 8th, 1m11.93s
Finished: 5th
Mark Winterbottom
“It was a good day, nice to finish a race trouble free for a change. It’s been a tough year, tough past couple of rounds, so to get through this one cleanly was nice. Dean did a good job to get us a few spots in his stint, and once I was in fifth was about where we should have ended up. I’m pretty happy to get this kind of result, it’s the kind of momentum we need to finish off the season strong.”
Dean Canto
“Going into a dry race when we hadn’t been in the dry since Friday, I wasn’t sure what to expect. All we could go off of was what the guys had in qualifying this morning, which was tough. I got off to a very, very bad start, I actually stalled. I recovered, didn’t lose any spots, and immediately knew the car was quicker than some of the cars in front of me, so I slowly started picking them off and making some moves. The car wasn’t as some of the cars way up front, so I knew it was going to be hard for Mark, but we finished where the car had pace to finish. We still need to do a little better on tyre life, but it was a trouble-free race, which is something we hadn’t had yet.”
GC Sunday 5
#6 Monster Energy PRA Ford
Qualified: 4th, 1m10.51s
Top Ten Shootout: 7th, 1m11.50s
Finished: 21st
Cameron Waters
“We had heaps of positives heading into today, just a really bad way to end our Pirtek Enduro Cup. Saying that, you can’t take anything away from what Richie’s done, he’s done a mega job all three races, and even today. It was touch and go, I think it was Richards in Car 888, just didn’t see him. Disappointing to end it this way, but so many positives to take out of it, and the car was fast, and that’s the main thing.”
Richie Stanaway
“It’s just unfortunate. I was far enough up the inside where I think he should have seen me. I was actually even further ahead than his car when we made contact. He clearly just didn’t know I was there. It’s disappointing because I didn’t have to do the move, I could have rolled the car in in fourth. But at the same time if you’re up the inside of someone they ought to give you at least one car width of space on the inside, which he didn’t do. After we made contact the steering was broken and that was the end of our day. So it’s pretty disappointing, that’s life.”
#55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford
Qualified: 3rd, 1m10.58s
Top Ten Shootout: 5th, 1m11.21s
Finished: 7th
Chaz Mostert
“Today just wasn’t our day. I think we had okay pace, just didn’t have the track position. Overall, great weekend. Got the surfboard I’ve been wanting, and wrapped up the Pirtek Enduro Cup that we came so close to getting in 2014, so that’s pretty awesome. It’s been a great weekend, and looking forward to New Zealand when that comes around, but before that I’m off to China to race some GT cars, so that should be an eye opening experience as well.”
Steve Owen
“Dry running, everyone’s pretty keen to have a crack early on, but it’s a long race. You know, when you’re fighting for the championship you’ve got to make sure the thing comes back. You never like to lose a couple spots at the start, but at the end of the day we got the car back to Chaz. Got some good points, won the Enduro Cup, and kept Chaz’s championship hopes alive, which is the main thing. It could have easily come to grief with the other guys, but we kept it right.”
GC Sunday 4.png
#56 MEGA Fuels PRA Ford
Qualified: 16th, 1m11.25s
Top Ten Shootout: 16th, n/a
Finished: 16th
Jason Bright
“I struggled on the brakes, pulling it up at Turn 1, pulling it up at the last corner. It felt like we were compromising brake balance to not have those problems, and that made us vulnerable at times. The car was pretty good, there were couple guys at the end coming who had quicker cars, so we lost a couple positions. All in all, it’s not where we want to be, but we scored some points. Looking forward to Pukekohe, I think that track will suit us pretty well.”
Garry Jacobson
“I got off to a really good start, but the real race really starts after Turn 4, and everybody needs to get through clean. I felt like I maintained good position, maintained my spot and gained five as the race wore on just through not making mistakes. Brighty and I probably didn’t have the best speed compared with other cars, but to get a good start, move up five positions, and bring the car back in one piece, I felt like I did my part. Massive thanks to Brighty and the team for helping me through my first Enduro campaign. It was a big ask and I learned a lot, so thanks to them.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal
“I suppose it’s not a bad thing that today seemed disappointing. One car in the top five and another took the Pirtek Enduro Cup, but we didn’t seem to have the speed we needed to win today. Would have liked to end the Enduros off with a win, but it’s fantastic to bring the Enduro Cup back with us. Chaz and Steve drove extremely well, and the team earned it. That trophy will look good back in the shop.”
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2580
2) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske: 2563
3) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske: 2553
4) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 2454
7) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 1872
8) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 1858
20) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing: 1284
TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP
1)  DJR Team Penske: 5151
2) Triple Eight: 4971
3) Prodrive Racing Australia: 3765
PIRTEK ENDURO CUP
1) Chaz Mostert & Steve Owen: 660
2) Fabian Coulthard & Tony D’Alberto, 612
3) Cameron Waters & Richie Stanaway: 594
13) Jason Bright & Garry Jacobson: 417
18) Mark Winterbottom & Dean Canto: 369