Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Chaz Mostert has taken a top five finish in race 11 at Hidden Valley Raceway with all four PRA challengers improving on their starting positions.
Despite running a clean race, Mostert had hoped to better optimise a strong race strategy after holding a 12-lap advantage on the cars around him.
His nail-biting battle with Jamie Whincup wasn’t the only dramatic moment of the race with Jason Bright narrowly avoiding a collision with three laps to go.
Bright made the most of a tousle between Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander ahead, moving past the cars at the corner before being thrown off balance as his competitors ran off the track.
Able to save the car, Bright dropped just one position to teammate Mark Winterbottom who had caught the field after his own off-track excursion on lap one.
Winterbottom believes he and engineer Brendan Hogan will look for a different setup direction for tomorrow’s 200km hit-out after describing the car as ‘hard work’ to drive.
Cameron Waters was pleased to gain yet another strong top-10 finish, further cementing himself as a top-ten championship contender.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 17th – 1m06.28s
Race 11: 14th
“The car wasn’t really there all day. It was hard work. Got tangled up at the first corner, I think I got nudged in the back and then into the side and spun around which is what happens when you’re in the pack like that. We raced our way back through which was okay but the car’s just not there. I can’t brake and get to the corner and it’s just hard work but we’ll have a look at it, tune it up and go in a different direction tomorrow. We’ll see if we can get up there. We can obviously improve it which is the plan but tough day.”
Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 10th – 1m06.04s
Race 11: 6th
“It was a pretty good day. Quali wasn’t that great but after practice it seemed pretty good because we were struggling a little bit there. 10th was good in quali and in the race I just tried to keep it clean and consistent and it worked really well for us. I’m really happy with sixth. We can work with that and make the car a little bit better for tomorrow and hopefully we can sneak up a few more spots.”
Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 7th – 1m06.00s
Race 11: 5th
“Good day with a top five result but I’m a bit disappointed with it. I think we had the best strategy by about 12 laps but we lacked a bit of power to get around the guys in front. I’m a bit disappointed but overall pretty happy to still finish in the top five with a straight car. It’s just another opportunity that I felt we could have optimised a bit better.”
Jason Bright – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 17th – 1m06.34s
Race 11: 15th
“It was a bit of an eventful race. The first was just carnage. Looking at it, it looks like we copped a bit of damage to the rear bumper and I really struggled for the first stint, particularly for the first few laps with rear grip. In the end the pace didn’t end up too bad during that stint. We lost out in the pit stop because we got boxed in with cars coming down pit lane which probably lost us a couple of spots at the restart. There was certainly plenty of action and it’d be nice to have a clean race as the car race package is pretty good.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“There were positives and negatives today but it’s nice to have a few more positives to talk about compared to yesterday. Chaz and Cam both ran really good races. I was pleased with their smart driving and how they tackled it today. For all cars to improve on their starting positions was good but we still have quite a bit of work to do. We’re not where we need to be. We know we can do better so now it’s about making sure we get to that point. Today we proved that we can be competitive, but in order to win races we need to qualify better and that’s what we were missing today.”
RACE 11 RESULTS
1) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske
2) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Pekse
3) Nick Percat – Brad Jones Racing
4) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
6) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
14) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
15) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing
1) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske: 1210
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 1176
3) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske: 1170
4) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 1023
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 972
6) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 861
10) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 805
21) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing: 489
1) DJR Team Penske: 2415
2) Triple Eight: 2199
3) Prodrive Racing Australia: 1701