GC Saturday 5
PRODRIVE RACING – GOLD COAST RACE 1 REPORT
On a Saturday filled with consistent rain from dawn to dusk, Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen (#55 Supercheap Auto FG X) survived the storm, and a mid-race spin, to claim pole and victory in Race 1 at the Gold Coast 600. Cameron Waters and Richie Stanaway (#6 Monster Energy FGX) used a strong stint from the latter to claim runner-up honours, while Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto (#5 The Bottle-O FG X, 8th), and Jason Bright and Garry Jacobson (#56 MEGA Fuels FG X, 9th) completed a result with all four cars in the top ten.
Making his 100th Supercars round start, Owen led the field from Lap 1 as all co-drivers started the race. After dropping a spot on Lap 8, Owen was spun by Car 88 on Lap 29 and re-joined in fifth before handing off to Mostert on Lap 35. The 25-year old took the lead from Waters on Lap 63 following a restart and never looked back, beating the #6 across the line by 2.49 seconds. Stanaway’s stint in Car 6 saw him lunge from 14th to second before stepping aside for Waters, who assumed the lead on pit lane on Lap 57 and held it until Mostert passed him six laps later.
Lap 35 ended up undoing a promising afternoon for Car 5, as just moments after relieving Canto, Winterbottom made contact with Mostert leaving his pit box, incurring a drive through penalty three laps later. Relegated to 21st, Frosty rallied to eighth, which was all the 2015 champion could muster on a day where both felt a podium was possible.
Like at Bathurst, Jacobson demonstrated his prowess in the wet, climbing from a 22nd starting position to as high as third before handing the helm off to Bright. Bright’s first lap at speed was on the Lap 62 restart, which cost him a couple of positions, but the MEGA Fuels racer held station from then on to claim a ninth place finish, his third top ten in the last four races.
Heading into Sunday, Mostert and Owen now lead the Enduro Cup standings with Waters and Stanaway 12 points behind in second place. Mostert also clipped 102 points out of his deficit to Fabian Coulthard’s championship lead on Saturday, and now sits just 121 points out of first with five races remaining.
GC Saturday 2
DRIVERS’ VIEW
#5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford
Started: 8th, 1m22.34s
Finished: 8th
Mark Winterbottom
“We had good pace, and I think we would have been on the podium as well if not for the penalty. No mirror in pit lane when you get released, and we hit Chaz. The penalty put us back to 21st or something like that, got back up to eighth, drove pretty well I thought, passed a lot of cars to get back through. But, yeah, sort of the story of the year, if we don’t have bad luck we have no luck at all. Awesome cars, could have been a good result, good for the team, not so good for me, but it is what it is.”
Dean Canto
“A bit slow to start off with in the wet conditions, it took me a bit to get going just with the tyre pressures. Once they came up the pace was good. My stint was pretty much survival, a couple guys fired off in front of me, passed a couple guys once I got a bit more confidence in the tyres, and once we handed off to Frosty we were in a reasonable position, but that pit stop didn’t go to plan, then Mark did a really good job to fight back. He did what all he could do, and we got a reasonable finish, but we could have been much higher.”
GC Saturday 4
#6 Monster Energy PRA Ford
Started: 14th, 1m23.11s
Finished: 2nd
Cameron Waters
“We had come out (of our Lap 35 pit stop) and the engine was quite hot, so I couldn’t really warm my tyres too much. The first two, three laps (after the restart) I was just trying to get the tyres up, and Chazzy was monstering me, and that was probably three, four laps of the lead. Kind of towards the middle stint onwards I was pretty comfortable in the car and was as quick as Chaz. Really happy for the team, we’re going really well in the Pirtek Enduro Cup, we just want to keep that up and finish tomorrow strongly.”
Richie Stanaway
“I was pretty comfortable out there, just wasn’t taking too much risk. Just trying to go as quick as I could without locking a brake and going down the escape road or something. I wasn’t trying to rush the passes, it’s a long race so I didn’t want to take too much risk…The wet tyre seemed to work reasonably well, it seemed to work a little bit better than I was expecting before I managed to get behind the wheel, but I think the team have done an awesome job as well. To get both cars 1-2, they’ve obviously done something right, so huge thanks to them, they gave us the package to do this.”
#55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford
Started: 1st, 1m21.54s
Finished: 1st
Chaz Mostert
“Pretty tricky conditions there for every driver today, but this is probably the sketchiest track I’ve ever driven on in the rain. White lines, zebra crossings, crowns in the road, it was all going on out there. Just proud to get the good result for the guys because the car was very very speedy as you could see out there. It’s also great for the team to get 1-2. Ford’s wrapped up the manufacturer’s championship too, so that’s good for them as well.”
Steve Owen
“Collecting surfboards is a fair bit of fun. And it was good fun out there with guys like (Paul Dumbrell) at the front, he’s sort of got his head screwed on – well, most of the time, apart from the crash – but you know you can go door-to-door with him in these conditions. You can do that and use multiple lines, it was great fun.”
GC Saturday 3
#56 MEGA Fuels PRA Ford
Started: 22nd, 1m24.07s
Finished: 9th
Jason Bright
“I was happy with the result, and Garry did an awesome job earlier on there. When we knew we were going to have to queue if there was a safety car we pitted him, which meant he was going to have to go until Lap 50, and he held his own. I was kind of on the back foot going into that restart when I had only just come out of the pits, the other drivers had almost 20 laps head start on me. But I was happy with the car, managed to get it working, better than what I felt it could do at Bathurst, and we could hold off the guys behind and end up with a top ten.”
Garry Jacobson
“I thought Bathurst was good for me and my confidence, and it just shows it wasn’t a fluke to back it up here. It was still a little bit green, this track, I haven’t been here before (in a Supercar). There were a couple of moments where I thought ‘please, God, just hold on’ through those chicanes, but I’m really pleased with the result.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal
“A fantastic result for the team. To come home 1-2 and have all four cars in the top ten is tremendous, especially in the tricky conditions. Mark and Dean certainly could have been up for the podium today, so that penalty was unfortunate but we know we have four really good cars which is very positive news. Around the shop we had been talking about how the next Ford win seals the manufacturer’s championship, and we really wanted to get that win, so it’s satisfying to tick that box for Ford. We’ve got another round of it tomorrow, and it’s supposed to be dry, so we’ll see if we can make it happen again.”