2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Chaz Mostert is now just six points off fourth overall in the Supercars standings heading into the Endurance Cup after a fifth place finish to back up Saturday’s runner-up effort.

The Supercheap Auto driver led into the opening turn and held the lead for much of the first stint, but ultimately did not have the tyre life of eventual race winner, Jamie Whincup. While pleased with the weekend, he believes further gains can be had across the three endurance races.

Jason Bright enjoyed another strong qualifying effort and converted it into eighth at the flag in one of his best races this season.

Far less content were Mark Winterbottom and Cameron Waters with the latter failing to finish after a tyre let go.

Winterbottom started well and was in the leaders pack only for what he believes to be a technical issue to severely hamper his pace after his final stop. The 2015 champion dropped down the order to an eventual 19th place.

Waters suffered a puncture but to make matters worse it occurred under brakes and resulted in contact from another car which pitched him off the track and caused significant left-rear damage which the team could not repair in the allowed time.

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

DRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 7th – 1m28.87s
Race 18: 19th
“We were tracking okay running in sixth. Our pace was reasonable, not leading pace, but to everyone else we were pretty good. In the last stint I went out and we broke something. The car turned nastily and from the out lap it was bad so I don’t know what we’ve done. Something has let go so it is frustrating. It was an easy p6 today and in the end we looked amateur running around at the back. It was about survival. We will find what it was but you can’t read a broken car so it has been a frustrating day.”

Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 15th – 1m29.06s
Race 18: DNF
“It wasn’t the best day. We missed the set-up in qualifying and being so tight it doesn’t take too much to miss the top 10. We made the car a little bit better in the race and then after the pit stop I had to double-stack which dropped me back. We put a lot of fuel in the car and I was passing some slower cars. I passed Alex Rullo and got under him but the left-rear tyre just exploded. It spun the car because I only had three tyres and Alex had nowhere to go and drove into me and took me out. There wasn’t much I could do. The failure was weird but we’ll bounce back at Sandown.”

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 2nd – 1m28.35s
Race 18: 5th
“Our car balance wasn’t quite right out of the gate and that last stint when everyone dived in early there is no way we could’ve done that. Adam and I worked hard today but the car balance hurt as we burnt front tyres and the rears a little bit. That just comes down to the stuff we need to keep working on. Overall to finish fifth and second yesterday is a great bunch of points from the weekend. To get a front row start today was great but we need to capitalise on those qualifying efforts. We are in amongst the top guys but just lacking a little bit.”

Jason Bright – #56 MEGA Fuels PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 10th – 1m28.98s
Race 18: 8th
“Stacking in the pit stop today put us back in the pack and we had to go pretty aggressive on the last stint but the car was great. It had tyre life and pretty good pace. The last stint was one of the best we’ve had all year. I am happy we’ve made good progress the last couple of rounds. There is a little bit of time to find in qualifying but I am looking at the pace of the guys in the next group in front and I think we can run there if we can get the car up there at the start. It is hard to do that pace when you are back in the pack. I am very happy with the weekend and a little more pace in qualifying will put us in another league again.”

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“It was a tougher day today but we still took positive from it and the weekend as a whole. Chaz qualified and raced well and the battle at the end with the two teams that we’ve been chasing since the start of the year shows we are closing it heading into the biggest races of the year. Jason drove well and converted his qualifying effort which was encouraging. Frosty and Cam endured a troubled day but both have found gains so we’re confident we’ll challenge heading into Sandown. It was also great to see Richie win on his debut weekend. He fully deserved the victory and it is great preparation for the enduros.”

 
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Richie Stanaway has claimed his maiden Supercars race win with a commanding victory in the final race of the Super2 round in Sydney, and finishing third overall for the event. Stanaway led into the first corner and was never headed. Team-mate Garry Jacobson was strong as well, claiming third in the race and just missing the round podium. Josh Kean had the drive of the day with the young South Australian moving from the back row to finish ninth in just 18-laps.

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars Championship

 

Garry Jacobson – #1 MEGA Fuels PRA Ford:
Race 4: 3rd
“It was a better race all round today and while I missed the podium for the weekend we had our most consistent and trouble-free weekend for a while. I now switch to double-duties running Super 2 and the main series at Sandown but I am looking forward to the challenge.”

Josh Kean – #5 Wynns PRA Ford:
Race 4: 9th
“It was finally great to have a race with no issues or incidents. While there was a few crazy moments on the first lap, starting at the back actually meant I could avoid most of the chaos. It was nice to have the car working and be able to move through the field as easily as I did. It was a nice way to end the weekend.”

Richie Stanaway – #6 PRA Ford:
Race 4: 1st
“It was great. You never know what to expect coming into a new series. I wanted to win but didn’t know if that was a realistic goal or not. We chipped away and got the car in a really good window so I couldn’t be happier really. The biggest advantage was to get more comfortable driving the car on the limit. I am a lot more comfortable now so co-driving with Cam I’ll be able to do a lot better job. It has been a great experience for me.”

 

RACE 18 RESULTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
2) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske
3) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
4) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
8) Jason Bright – MEGA Fuels Racing
19) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
DNF) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing

 
CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske: 2058
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2046
3) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske: 1951
4) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 1800
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 1794
6) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 1503
10) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 1264
21) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing: 867

TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP
1) DJR Team Penske: 4044
2) Triple Eight: 3846
3) Prodrive Racing Australia: 2802