DAVE QUICK IN SLIPPERY SYDNEY PRACTICE
PRODRIVE RACING AUSTRALIA – COATES HIRE SYDNEY 500
Prodrive Racing (Australia) has finished Friday's practice at the Coates Hire Sydney 500 confident of finding further speed despite three of four cars sustaining minor exterior damage. Championship leader Mark Winterbottom, along with Chris Pither, was the only PRA car not to run a set of green tyres throughout the day but is pleased with his speed compared to teammate David Reynolds. Winterbottom kicked off the crew's day of repairs, making side-on contact with the tyre wall at turn one causing him to finish opening practice early. While the car did not sustain any mechanical damage, he was still able to hold a 10th place finish from earlier in the session. Steve Owen was given his first taste of green tyres in 12 months in today's final practice session but says there is still work to be done after finishing 22nd, 23rd and 18th in each session. The Bottle-O Racing Team's David Reynolds was the fastest of the PRA fold, completing his practice sessions in third, third and fourth for the day. Dave also had a brush with the wall in the final practice session but once again no mechanical damage was sustained. Kiwi Chris Pither suffered the worst damage in the final practice session, with damage to the front of his car after coming together with a tyre bundle at turn seven.
Mark Winterbottom - #5 Pepsi Max PRA Ford: 11th – 1m28.37s
"It wasn’t too bad today but we didn’t put any green tyres on so we’ll see what it does when we do. A few little issues, just wobbling around a little bit in some spots and this track is a massive commitment. You’ve really got to have a good car behind you. Hopefully we’ll tune her up and put new tyres on and go again tomorrow."
Steve Owen - #6 Pepsi Max PRA Ford: 18th - 1m28.85s
"The biggest issue is remembering to sign six instead of five on the posters! Everything else is pretty good. I had my first run on green tyres for 12 months, but I’m glad we did that in practice because I didn’t do a very good job. The car’s reasonable and not that far off Frosty at the moment, so we’ll try and tune her up tonight and come back tomorrow and see where we end up."
David Reynolds - #55 The Bottle-O PRA Ford: 4th – 1m27.90s
"Today wasn’t too bad. We rolled out and had a pretty good car straight away, but it’s just a terrifying track sometimes. You try so hard and you two-wheel into the fence like I did in the last session. That’s the most damage I’ve done all year. I scratched the side of it and it was pretty big. It scared me, but I’ll be right tomorrow."
Chris Pither - #111 Super Black PRA Ford: 24th – 1m29.89s
"It definitely wasn't ideal finishing the final practice session the way we did but I'm thrilled to have at least another two practice sessions under my belt in the car, particularly at this track. We were making improvements up until then so we'll work on it overnight and hopefully roll out good as new for tomorrow and keep making improvements."
Prodrive Racing (Australia)'s Cameron Waters has continued his front-running form in the Dunlop Series in practice at the Sydney 500, finishing at the top of the tables in each session. While the first practice session was red flagged due to a crash on track, Waters was able to make the most of his time, recording a 1:31.207 in the first before cutting that down to a 1:29.03 in the final session. Saturday consists of qualifying for race one and the first 17 lap race in the afternoon.
Cameron Waters - #5 ENZED PRA Ford: 1st – 1m29.03s
"I'm pretty happy with how everything went today. It's been a while since I've been in that car but it was good to return to that car and cut some laps. I was happy to cut a bit of time off my lap time in the final practice. We're looking alright for tomorrow but we'll tune it up and hopefully we can put it on pole for tomorrow's race."
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
"This track is notorious for biting you hard and we got nipped a few times today. Thankfully the damage was mostly to the panels on the cars so we've given the sticker guy quite a bit of work. Overall we have been pretty consistent and there is still room for improvement. We've got another practice session to go tomorrow before we qualify so we'll get everything straight and hopefully remain consistent."