29 JUL 2017
Second at home sweet reward for Chaz
Prodrive Racing (Australia) has claimed a close second place finish in the opening race of the Ipswich Super Sprint with Chaz Mostert the runner-up at Queensland Raceway. Mostert was one of six drivers to go under the old lap record in qualifying and after qualifying third he jumped to second early in the race. Pitting with the race leader and eventual winner, Scott McLaughlin, the local driver made several key passes after his stop and held on to secure a vital haul of points.
Team-mate Mark Winterbottom, another driver to break the qualifying record, started fifth and while he raced strongly in the early phase of the 39-lap race, he faded to ninth with several late-stopping drivers passing him on fresher rubber.
Cameron Waters was on for a solid top 10 result but for a delay in his only pit stop to drop him down the field. He battled home to 16th frustrated at not being able to make the most of his form.
Jason Bright featured in the lead group throughout the race and was running an alternate tyre strategy to his team-mates to try and maximise late-race pace. Unfortunately a broken butterfly valve in his engine forced him to retire in the closing laps.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 5th – 1m08.91s
Race 15: 9th
"It was not the best race car, we struggled a bit. Strategically I needed to not come out behind Rick (Kelly) but the way the pit stops turned out we came out right behind Rick so it was a tough race from there. We struggled from there. To get past cars was hard and there is a bit of work to do. We just didn't get the strategy to play out the way we wanted it to today. We survived but we'll get another chance tomorrow."
Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 10th – 1m09.04s
Race 15: 16th
"It was a tougher end to the race than I thought we would have. Ultimately with only one pit stop required any delay had a big knock on affect and today we had a slight delay with one of the wheels and it cost us. Our pace wasn't great but with Chaz's result we know the pace is there so we'll put in a big effort tonight and come back fighting tomorrow."
Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 3rd – 1m08.90s
Race 15: 2nd
"I am ecstatic. I didn't think that a podium was possible after the first pit stop when we came out in fourth. We trucked along for a while but we passed a few cars and had good tyre life too. To be able to have the tyres last to the end I am pretty proud of the whole team for their efforts. We still have a little bit of pace to find but we have some good data to work with. My goal for the weekend was to get onto the podium and I've achieved that. It is nice to go into Sunday having had a successful start to the weekend."
Jason Bright – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Qualifying: 13th – 1m09.11s
Race 15: DNF
"I am disappointed. We had a really good car today and in qualifying the strategy was right and we were working our way back through when it felt like I lost a cylinder. The issue has been diagnosed as a broken butterfly but all I could do was get the car back to the pits. The car was probably the strongest I've had in a race this year. We've turned a bit of a corner which is a positive despite today's result."
Tim Edwards – Team Manager:
"Strong drive by Chaz today and a great effort by the crew to qualify so strong at a challenging track. We've gained good data for tomorrow's longer race but there is more work to do as not all of our cars were as kind as what we saw with Chaz's car. It was an unfortunate day for Cam and especially Jason as both had been in contention for a big haul of points."