Following a disappointing result at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000, Prodrive Racing (Australia) are ready to tackle the wild and likely wet Surfers Paradise track at the Gold Coast 600. PRA drivers have had sporadic success on the 2.96km street circuit, but the team hopes to put its recently improved car pace to good use in its quest for a fifth – and possibly sixth – race win in Surfers Paradise.
With three events remaining in the 2017 season, there is still plenty to play for in the championship for Cameron Waters, Mark Winterbottom and Chaz Mostert.
Sandown 500 Champion Cameron Waters with Co Driver Richie Stanaway are just 66 points behind Fabian Coulthard and Tony D'Alberto on the Pirtek Enduro Cup Points table.
Mostert and co-driver Steve Owen also sit tied for second in the Pirtek Enduro Cup standings heading into the final of the three-event championship, with Chaz also sitting fourth in championship points.
The driver of the #55 Supercheap Auto FG X is just 223 points behind leader Fabian Coulthard and a strong weekend for the Queensland resident could prove invaluable as the 2017 season reaches its home stretch.
Bathurst was a disastrous campaign for Mark Winterbottom, who will be hoping to bounce back.
‘Frosty’ is a two-time winner of the Gold Coast 600 and the New South Welshman will try and use his experience to join Shane van Gisbergen as a three-time winner.
Mark Winterbottom - co-driving with Dean Canto: #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford
“The Gold Coast round is a favourite of mine, and we’re looking forward to a new race weekend. Bathurst left a sour taste in our mouths so we definitely want to have a good clean run this weekend and score some points. I think we should have the car pace to run up front, and we aren’t thinking championship at this point, so we’ll go out and push for the podium. Deano and I both have wins at Gold Coast, so it’d be great to get one together, and if we can get two together, that’d be pretty nice as well.”
Cameron Waters - co-driving with Richie Stanaway: #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford
“We’ve had pretty good pace at the past few races, so we’ll look to keep that up. We’re also second in the Enduro Cup, so we’ll go in and give it a red hot crack and see if we can win that. The Gold Coast track is challenging, there’s no room for mistakes so it’s very much risk versus reward, but I think Richie and I have nailed those situations pretty well, so if we can keep it straight we’ll be in for a good result. It looks like it might rain as well, which would make a tough track even tougher, but we’ve been strong in the wet at Sandown and Bathurst, so either way it should be a good event for us.”
Chaz Mostert -co-driving with Steve Owen: #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford
“Gold Coast’s become a bit of a home race, just down the road from me since I’ve moved to Queensland. The track itself is tough and unforgiving, and 100-plus laps of smashing over the kerbs really takes a toll on the car and driver, so it’s a bit of a workout for everyone. We're getting down to the last few races, so we need to make the most of this weekend for the championship. I’ve had some decent results there and the team’s been really sharp of late, so if we can keep plucking along like we have we can be in for a big weekend.”
“We’re ready to get back to the track, even if just to put Bathurst behind us. It’s a good opportunity to bounce back from a tough weekend, and a chance to get a big points pay off late in the season. Cam and Richie are right there for the Enduro Cup, which would make up quite a bit for the disappointment from Bathurst.”
EVENT NAME: Vodafone Gold Coast 600
DATE: 20 – 22 October
LOCATION: Surfers Paradise, Queensland
EVENT NUMBER: 12 of 14
FORMAT: Friday – 3 x 30-min practice (1 x co-driver only);
Saturday – 1 x 20-min qualifying, 1 x 102-lap race;
Sunday – 1 x 20-min qualifying, Top Ten Shootout (1-lap), 1 x 102-lap race
CIRCUIT: Streets of Surfers Paradise
LENGTH: 2.96 -kilometres
DESCRIPTION: The tightest street circuit on the calendar, this difficult layout combines straight-line speed with the slowest and narrowest of corners, making panel rubbing and major accidents normal for the event. Having stated this, drivers enjoy being aggressive at this circuit as the rewards are great for the effort, but the price to pay for a mistake, just like any street circuit, can be major.
TRACK RECORD: 1m10.05s, David Reynolds (2013)
PRA BEST RESULT: 1st – Steven Richards (2008), Mark Winterbottom (2009), Mark Winterbottom & Richard Lyons (2011), David Reynolds & Dean Canto (2013)