Prodrive Racing has had a strong weekend at the Townsville 400 with a podium finish and top five race results on both days. The return to form is a positive step forward for the team which endured a tough outing at the previous round in Darwin.
Mark Winterbottom made his return to form with a podium and narrowly missing out on a second with his most consistent performance of the year over the weekend.
Cameron Waters is pleased with his team’s progress, making it into the top 5. Waters felt tyre quality hampered his performance despite some decent results.
Chaz continued his good form for the year with two top 5 finishes over the weekend.
After a stellar start, Winterbottom lead his teammates from lap one to secure third place as he crossed the line.
Chaz Mostert featured in battles with Shane van Gisbergen throughout race 13, with the duo adding to their ever compiling highlights reel. On this occasion Mostert was able to execute his move on van Gisbergen; the kiwi conceding due to an engine issue.
Cameron Waters rounded out the top five in what was yet another consistent drive for the youngster. Challenged by David Reynolds twice over the 70 laps, Waters was able to maintain a cool head to pass his former team-mate shortly after the second round of pit stops, to then also pass a struggling van Gisbergen with five laps remaining.
Mark Winterbottom - #5
Race 13 Qualifying: 6th – 1m12.42s
Race 13: 3rd
“It was a good day. To get back on the podium is really good. It’s been a tough year. You need results to keep the motivation levels up because my car in particular has had a really heavy work load this year. You think about that stuff when you cross the line, it’s not just a podium. It’s awesome for the guys who work on my car in particular, spraying champagne on them felt like a win which was cool. We’ve now got momentum and we’ll try and keep going with it which will be good.”
Cameron Waters - #6
Race 13 Qualifying: 4th – 1m12.37s
Race 13: 5th
“I was actually pretty happy with how today went. After practice we were really struggling but we made the car a lot better overnight. The boys did a really good job to make it better and I was really happy with fourth in qualifying. To finish fifth is really good points and the race has given us a really good direction on where we need to go for tomorrow.”
Chaz Mostert - #55
Race 11 Qualifying: 3rd – 1m12.33s
Race 13: 4th
“A top five result is always a good result. The field is super-tight out there. We ran our race. We didn’t quite have the pace to match the front two guys today. It was a good race though. We learnt a lot from it and got a good read for tomorrow. We’ll see what we can do but overall I’m pretty pleased with today. It’s definitely not a bad result. This is what we need to keep doing, we need to keep getting these top-fives and keep making little gains with the car.”
“It was a great effort from the team today. To have three cars finish in the top five is a fantastic step forward and it’s great to see Frosty back on the podium. We’re getting to where we want to be now but we still have a lot of work to do to match the front guys. If we can continue this trend tomorrow I think we can be on the podium again. We just have to keep working hard.”
Results - Race 13
1) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
3) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
4) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
5) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
Prodrive Racing has put on another promising display of form at the Townsville 400 with Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert completing race 14 in the top five. The strong result was pleasing for Winterbottom who was proud to see all three of his teammates competing with him in the top-10 shootout.
Chaz Mostert ran an alternate strategy to his teammates, pitting for his first stop later in the race to make the most of a fresher tyre. Mostert believes the strategy was a good call after also taking on more fuel at the stop, enabling him to catch up to Winterbottom in the final stint.
Tyre degradation played a large part in today’s racing with Cameron Waters falling from his qualifying position. Waters featured in a number of on-track battles throughout the race. All four drivers were impressed with the team’s step forward and believe this will provide a platform for continued improvement moving forward.
Mark Winterbottom - #5
Qualifying: 3rd – 1m12.30s
Race 14: 4th
“It was a good day. To have four cars in the top-10 shootout is a massive thing. Although they didn’t end up first-second-third it’s still a massive achievement to get all cars in. It’s nice to see the whole team going forward, not just one driver. It was a pretty positive weekend but I thought fourth was probably the best result I was going to get with the car that I had. We strategized well, played to our strengths got the position I thought we’d probably get. Can’t complain, a third and a fourth is not a bad weekend. You don’t give up, you keep trying and we’ll get there.”
Cameron Waters - #6
Qualifying: 7th – 1m12.45s
Race 14: 14th
“It was kind of an up and down day. In qualifying I didn’t quite put my lap together but I was still seventh and still made the shootout which I was surprised by. It was really cool to make the top 10 but I think we missed the setup in the race a bit. I had a quick car but just no tyre life. We’ll go back to the drawing boards and work out where the other cars are where we are and find a better base for the next round.”
Chaz Mostert - #55
Qualifying: 2nd – 1m12.29s
Race 14: 5th
“Overall it was a pretty good weekend to get two top-fives. It was a bit like follow the leader out there with my mate Frosty. I am reasonably happy. We know it was a good run for us this weekend. In Darwin we were left scratching our heads. This weekend we had a good competitive run. I think we know the areas we’re lacking in and we know the areas that we need to work on. One of those is a bit of tyre life to the guys around us. Overall I am pretty happy with the weekend, we had some good qualifying speed, some good races and good points.”
“This weekend has been quite positive. To have all cars in the top-10 shootout is a huge achievement for us and the whole team should be immensely proud. We worked hard in the lead up to this event and harder all weekend and while we didn’t get on the podium again we are definitely on the right track. Tyre degradation was a pretty big problem for us today so we’ll be looking closely at that.”
Results - Race 14
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight
2) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske
3) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight
4) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing
14) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing
11) Scott McLaughlin – DJR Team Penske: 1608
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 1602
3) Fabian Coulthard – DJR Team Penske: 1450
5) Chaz Mostert – Supercheap Auto Racing: 1257
6) Mark Winterbottom – The Bottle-O Racing Team: 1173
9) Cameron Waters – Monster Energy Racing: 1063
Team Championship Points
1) DJR Team Penske: 3093
2) Triple Eight: 2979
3) Prodrive Racing Australia: 2271