2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipProdrive Racing (Australia)’s Mark Winterbottom has salvaged a strong result in what has been a trying day for the team at the Winton SuperSprint, claiming a top 10 finish in race nine.

After falling behind teammate Cameron Waters on the opening lap, a DNF for Chaz Mostert pushed Winterbottom back up to finish in his starting position of ninth.

A transaxle issue ensured an unfortunate end to a positive day for Mostert who had been running in second place early in the race.

Cameron Waters was handed a pit lane penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit in the opening laps of the race, hampering his chance of a strong result.

Despite the disappointing position, Waters is confident the strong speed displayed by the Monster Energy FG X was encouraging ahead of tomorrow’s 67 lap hit-out.

Jason Bright also endured a challenging day with the unsafe release of a DJR Team Penske car in the round of pit stops pushing Bright to the rear of the field.

A tussle with Dale Wood in the dying stages also saw Bright spin at turn three, further hindering what could have been a good result.

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipDRIVERS’ VIEW
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Race 9 Qualifying: 9th – 1m19.94s
Race 9: 9th
“Just struggling. The car still isn’t where I want it to be. We improved it in the race with roll bars but it sort of took us a bit too long to get on top of that. Mid-corner to exit is really good but entry to mid-corner is really, really slow so if we can tidy that up we’ll be a lot better. It’s pretty difficult. The times are alright but it’s really difficult to drive so we’ve got a bit of work to do to tidy it up. We finished and stayed out of trouble and it’s better than what it was in qualifying so we’re going forward but it still needs more.”

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipCameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Race 9 Qualifying: 10th – 1m19.97s
Race 9: 22nd
“The car was actually really good in the race, we were as quick as the leaders. Getting a PLP was really frustrating. I came into pit lane, pressed the limiter and it didn’t turn on for whatever reason and it cost me. I’m pretty upset with that but I can take a lot of positives out of today with the pace. We’re moving the car forward with every session so I’m really excited for tomorrow now.”

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipChaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Race 9 Qualifying: 2nd – 1m19.54s
Race 9: DNF
“It was very disappointing to get a mechanical failure and put us out of today’s race. Overall the car has been feeling great at the last couple of rounds so we’ll draw the positives. Obviously it’s disappointing to lose a bunch of points today but hopefully we can get a good bunch tomorrow and keep building on the year.”

2017 Virgin Australia Supercars ChampionshipJason Bright – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Race 9 Qualifying: 16th – 1m20.20s
Race 9: 26th
“We lost out because a DJR car had an unsafe release in front of us in pit lane so we just lost a bunch of spots in the pit stop that we shouldn’t have lost. From there I ended up stuck behind Dale Wood for the rest of the race and it’s so hard to pass. The car was pretty good. It got a bit beaten up on the first lap with a lot of wheel banging. The pace was alright. If we were able to get around Wood we would have driven away pretty easily but it was too hard to pass and every time we tried he squeezed us pretty hard. In clean air I think we would have been alright.”

Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“It was a tough day but there are a number of positives that we can take from it. Our pace was encouraging with Cam in particular showing good signs, being able to catch the field after his pit lane penalty. He was actually the fastest car on the track for almost half of the race. Winton is an extremely tough track for passing so both he and Brighty did a good job to make up some spots towards the end of the race. Frosty also showed some improvements but we weren’t quite able to line up all of the dots today.”

RACE 9 RESULTS
1) Scott Mclaughlin – DJR Team Penske
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
3) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske
4) David Reynolds – Erebus
5) Will Davison – TEKNO
9) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
22) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
26) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing
DNF) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing

CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske: 931
2) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske: 921
3) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 918
4) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 873
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 771
6) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 732
10) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 583
21) Jason Bright – MEGA Racing: 378

TEAMS CHAMPIONSHIP
1) DJR Team Penske: 1887
2) Triple Eight: 1791
3) Prodrive Racing Australia: 1350