Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s rookie pair Cameron Waters and Jack Le Brocq have finished fourth at the 2016 Bathurst 1000 while disaster struck for their teammates.
The youngest driver pairing in the field were forced to stack multiple times in pit stops across the 161 lap race; however the Monster Energy Racing pair put forward a consistent drive to finish just a whisker away from the podium.
Chaos at the end of the race and a 15 second penalty to race leader Jamie Whincup saw Waters to fifth in the final stint before being elevated to fourth place post-race.
Kiwi pair Chris Pither and Richie Stanaway also benefitted from the late-race safety cars after being forced to conserve fuel for a lengthy period of time.
Despite running tenth at one point, fuel-saving mode put the pair back to 12th place at the finish.
After a strong performance all weekend from Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen and a standout first few stints from both drivers, a fraying throttle cable put the number 55 entry’s throttle percentage down to 80% before the half-way mark of the race.
Running in second before the mechanical issue, the Supercheap Auto FG X’s throttle cable snapped later in the race with Mostert able to get the Ford back to pit lane.
With the car repaired, Mostert re-joined 14 laps down, finishing the race to bank points for the weekend.
Mark Winterbottom and co-driver Dean Canto suffered another shattering Endurance Series blow with the car’s brake rotor shattering at Forrest Elbow late in the race.
Like Mostert, The Bottle-O Racing pair was in contention for the podium before the failure, putting the car into the gravel at the end of The Chase.
Despite the issues, all four cars remain mainly undamaged ahead of the Gold Coast 600.
Mark Winterbottom – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
“Just not our day today. We had a lot of issues going on with the engine playing up, the drink bottle playing up, but we were still second on the road at one point. You’ve just got to stay out of trouble. Unfortunately at the (Forrest) Elbow something went a bit funny in the steering and pushed me into the exit wall and that was obviously the rotor that exploded at sixth gear. We were still in a good position even with a car that wasn’t handling the best with all its gremlins we still found ourselves up the front. An unfortunate end today but it was good to see Cam get a good result and a good finish to the race. Thankfully the car is just dirty, not damaged.”
Dean Canto – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
“Obviously qualifying didn’t go that well but we haven’t had a strong car all weekend. We thought we’d tune it up in the race and we started to get on top of it. My stints were reasonably straight forward and I didn’t have too much drama. I passed a few guys which was cool. Pit stops went well but we had a little niggling engine electrical issue that started to come to the front. The way it ended for Mark is disappointing but it could have been a lot worse.”
Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
“I’m absolutely wrapped with the result. We’ve had a lot of bad luck recently so it’s really good to get a good result for all the boys and the whole team. We were so close to third and I was trying everything I could but I just fell short. Wrapped with it, it was so close. We’ll just keep building on that and I’m just happy to actually finish and stay out of trouble and actually get a good result.”
Jack Le Brocq – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
“Awesome result for us. It’s one of those things where it’s awesome to be fourth overall but we were so close to being on that podium which sort of yeah, it’s one of those things. But I’m stoked, Cam did an awesome job all day and yeah, we were there at the end of the race which we needed to be and we kept the car clean so looking forward to the Gold Coast now.”
Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
“Those things happen, it’s Bathurst. It can be great one day, bad the next. This year is still better than last year’s Bathurst. This time last year I was still in a hospital bed so it was just fantastic to get my confidence back up around here and to make the top ten shootout; there were a lot of positives. I was really happy with the car this weekend. I think it definitely had podium pace in it there towards the end. It’s a bit of a shame but we’ll truck on.”
Steve Owen – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
“I was really happy with my job. The car was great and I was really happy with where we were but these things happen and it’s just the way it is. It’s back luck but yeah I’m sure we’ll be strong at Gold Coast.”
Chris Pither – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
“I guess ending up 12th is a little bit disappointing. We were aiming for something a bit higher than that but it was a handful in those last few stints to try and save enough petrol to get us to the end. We had to save a whole lot more than the cars around me which made it tricky but we got home on the lead lap and 12th which we’ll take.”
Richie Stanaway – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
“I really enjoyed the race. Just a little bit disappointed with the result in the end with the way it worked out with the fuel. It would have been nice to have been a little bit further up but I enjoyed my stints and we’ll try for a strong run at the Gold Coast.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“There was a bit of everything in that race. It started off fairly tame and got quite hectic in the end there. Great to have Cam and Jack so close to the podium. They kept the car clean, were consistent through the whole day and really deserved to be in that position. Obviously disappointing to have both Chaz and Frosty have the issues that they did. It’s not what we want, to have mechanical failures but it was important for Chaz to get those points and get back out there and finish. At the very least we have four straight cars so we’ll look ahead to the Gold Coast.”
BATHURST 1000 – RACE RESULT
1) Will Davison/Jono Webb – Tekno
2) Shane van Gisbergen/Alex Premat – Triple Eight
3) Nick Percat/Cameron McConville – LDM
4) Cameron Waters/Jack Le Brocq – Prodrive Racing Australia
5) Scott Pye/Tony D’Alberto – DJR Team Penske
12) Chris Pither/Richie Stanaway – Super Black Racing
19) Chaz Mostert/Steve Owen – Supercheap Auto Racing
DNF) Mark Winterbottom/Dean Canto – Prodrive Racing Australia
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 2524
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2385
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2205
4) Will Davison – Tekno: 2112
5) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 2109
6) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 1908
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 1853
17) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 1233
19) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 1171