Winton SW0624Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Cameron Waters has enjoyed a positive opening day at the Winton SuperSprint in trying conditions, finishing within the top five in each of the day’s practice sessions.

Despite rain pouring throughout the opening session, Waters was able to finish fifth fastest in the day’s final practice after bolting on slicks in the dying stages.

All drivers took excursions off the track in the opening 45 minutes with Mostert the only driver to sustain minor damage after Fabian Coulthard clipped the rear of the #55 Supercheap Auto FG X in practice one before finishing in eighth place.

Red flags riddled session two despite clear conditions with a slippery track wreaking havoc for the field. Running on wet tyres, a dry line had formed by the middle of the final 45 minute hit-out. All four cars elected to bolt on slicks after the final red flag with Mark Winterbottom the first to make the call for the tyres. Pleased with the direction of the car, Winterbottom is hopeful for better conditions for tomorrow’s final practice session.

Jason Bright is happy with the MEGA Racing FG X’s continuing progress after sitting in the top five for most of session two, also hopeful for better conditions tomorrow to further test their setup direction.

Co-drivers Dean Canto, Steve Owen and Garry Jacobson took part in today’s additional driver session, taking the opportunity to help their main drivers prepare setups for the remainder of the weekend. In the absence of Monster Energy co-driver Richie Stanaway, Dean Canto ran in both cars 5 and 6 while cars 55 and 56 only took part in half of the session, pitting early due to weather.

Winton SW1450DRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Co-driver practice: Dean Canto – p8 – 1m46.63s
Practice 1: 13th – 1m44.64s
Practice 2: 11th – 1m31.03s
“It was alright. We probably needed the session to be 10 minutes later and you would have had a dry run there at the end but we went out and tried to progress the car. Tomorrow’s going to be completely different so it’s good to do some laps but it’s probably irrelevant for tomorrow so we’ll see what the weather does but it was pretty good fun out there.”

Winton SW1207Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Co-driver practice: Dean Canto – p9 – 1m46.64s
Practice 1: 3rd – 1m43.72s
Practice 2: 5th – 1m30.21s
“It was a really mixed day with the conditions but overall our pace seemed to be pretty good, we were always up around the top 10 which is good. I really loved driving the car in the wet today, going sideways and splashing through puddles which was a bit of fun. Overall it was good. It’s hard to know where you are in these conditions but I think we’re pointing in the right direction at the moment.”

Winton SW0307Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Co-driver practice: Steve Owen – p15 – 1m47.27s
Practice 1: 8th – 1m44.14s
Practice 2: 13th – 1m31.22s
“It was a bit of a mixed day. It only got dry there right at the end of the last session. Overall the car didn’t feel too bad in the wet. I think we made a bit of progress with our wet car. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. Hopefully it’s dry and we can start tomorrow nice and fresh and hopefully the car feels good like it has at the other rounds so far.”

Winton SW2124Jason Bright – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Co-driver practice: Garry Jacobson – p21 – 1m48.24s
Practice 1: 15th – 1m44.89s
Practice 2: 12th – 1m31.20s
“It was a funny old wet day. I felt like in the wet conditions we were pretty competitive and in the dry at the end there we were competitive as well. It was a good day. On the last lap I caught the pack and had no option but to go for the lap because we were on the last lap. We certainly didn’t get the best time that we could have but I’m happy. We popped up to p1 on the lap before and that’s a bit of a better gauge I think but the car was pretty strong.”

Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“It’s hard to tell where you sit in these conditions but I think we’ve made some good progress. To see all cars within the top 15 and in particular Cam in the top five in the final session was a good start. I think it’s supposed to be dry tomorrow which will be better for us, we’ll be able to lock in our setups in the morning ahead of qualifying and have a proper go.”

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske: 802
2) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 783
3) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 780
4) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske: 771
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 771
6) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 648
9) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 544
20) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing: 351

TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP
1) DJR Team Penske: 1608
2) Triple Eight: 11563
3) Prodrive Racing Australia: 1227