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Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Chaz Mostert was among five drivers to set times below the current track record in a scorching opening day at Sydney Olympic Park.
Despite a slow start, Mostert’s Supercheap Auto Racing FG X moved up the table in the second session on green tyres with room left to improve.
An electrical fault in the opening 40 minutes diminished Mark Winterbottom’s track time, limiting car 1 to only three laps.
With the car back in running order for the second session, a step in the wrong direction saw Winterbottom finish 16th in the order.
The current champion remains positive however, with green tyres saved for qualifying tomorrow.
Cameron Waters set consistent times across practice with a rookie test day between events paying dividends for the young-gun.
Finishing 11th and 10th in the first and second sessions, Waters is confident there is more to come from the Monster Energy FG X in tomorrow’s qualifying sessions.
Chris Pither has continued to struggle with the balance of the Super Black Racing Ford, making contact with the wall early in the second session.
Mark Winterbottom – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford: 16th – 1m28.03s
“We didn’t have the best day. We missed most of the first session with gremlins and a fault in one of the sensors. We lost 40 minutes of practice and went out in the second session and made a change on the car but went the wrong way. With that we ran out of time so it wasn’t the greatest day just parked up in the garage. We’ll tune her up. We haven’t used our tyres or anything yet so we’ll have a good chance tomorrow with what we’ve got and make the car quick but track time is crucial.”

Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford: 10th – 1m27.66s
“My day was really good. We didn’t really put tyres on in the first session so I think 11th was pretty good for that and we made the car a little bit better. It’s all pretty tight in the top ten. We know where we need to improve and I’m confident we can creep up inside the top ten for qualifying tomorrow.”

Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford: 4th – 1m27.24s
“We had a bit of a slow start to the day but in practice two we ended up in the top five which I’m pretty stoked about. We made the car a bit better from practice one to two so at least we got a bit of a direction and I know what I need from the car to make it go a bit quicker again. Overall pretty happy with Friday practice but we need to keep innovating and moving on for the next session and see what we can do.”

Chris Pither – #111 Super Black PRA Ford: 25th – 1m29.15s
“Disappointing to finish the day the way we did. We’ve struggled with the balance for a few events now and if it’s not right, this place will bite you and unfortunately that’s what happened. We have an awesome crew, they’ll get it fixed and we’ll go again tomorrow.”

Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“Obviously we didn’t have the greatest start to the day with the electrical issues on Mark’s car. Once we found what it was it was an easy fix and the positive is that he was able to get a few laps in. This place never fails to throw a few curveballs your way and we certainly had a few of those today but there are plenty of positives to take. Chaz’s green tyre times were fantastic and Cam is also looking competitive so we’ll work from there.”

Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Dunlop Series duo believe a step in the wrong direction put their FG X Fords down the order in practice two, following a strong start to the day. Garry Jacobson topped the opening session, posting the fastest time with just minutes remaining. Behind him in fourth, Jack Le Brocq did not improve further in the final session but is confident the GoGetta Ford will return to the pace in tomorrow’s qualifying session.

Jack Le Brocq – #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford: 7th – 1m30.19s
“Today wasn’t the best day for us. Both me and Garry probably struggled a little bit with the car. We sort of both went the wrong way with it a little bit in practice two just with the way the track was developing. I’m feeling pretty confident I’ll be right tomorrow. It’s one of those places where you get more confidence as you do more laps and I always want to use that to my advantage. Come tomorrow and qualifying we’ll press on and see how we go.”

Garry Jacobson – #6 Challenger Valve PRA Ford: 8th – 1m30.30s
“Practice one today went according to plan. The car came out of the trailer and was fast and I felt reasonably comfortable considering what’s at stake this weekend. I was happy to be driving smooth and fast. The Exedy logo on the car looks fantastic and they were really happy with how it looked on track. One of the main things today was just trying to keep cool. I think the track temperature from practice one to practice two was about 20 degrees hotter so we’re trying to make sure that the setup changes we’re made were gains rather than assuming that the car was slower because the track temperature was too high. We’ve been going through the data and on-board footage and we should be alright for tomorrow.”

1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 3089
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2898
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2596
4) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 2575
5) Will Davison – Tekno: 2403
6) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 2384
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 2235
17) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 1381
19) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 1318
1) Triple Eight: 5997
2) HRT: 3945
3) GRM: 3908
4) Prodrive Racing Australia: 3815
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