Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Chaz Mostert holds no reservations as he prepares to return to Mount Panorama following 2015’s qualifying crash.
Mostert, who recorded a top five finish at the Sandown 500, is confident for his return after winning the Bathurst 6hour in a BMW earlier in the year alongside friend Nathan Morcom.
Mostert’s co-driver Steve Owen will be a calm and knowledgeable influence for the Supercheap Auto Racing pilot as he prepares for his 18th Bathurst start.
Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto believe experience will play a large part in 2016’s Great Race as the pair look to build The Bottle-O Racing Team’s confidence.
Canto, who started on pole in last year’s race, and Winterbottom, who finished second on the podium hold an impressive 30 Bathurst starts between them, making them one of the most capable pairings in the field.
The pair will also unveil a special livery for the event, celebrating The Bottle-O’s 10-year involvement in the sport.
Cameron Waters will attempt his first Bathurst 1000 race as a main driver in 2016 after missing out on last year’s race as Mostert’s co-driver.
Waters is excited for the challenge, but insists he is approaching it the same as any other race.
Monster Energy co-driver Jack Le Brocq believes his experience at Sandown will help as he performs double duties once again at the Bathurst 1000, after a strong performance at the opening endurance event.
Chris Pither and Bathurst debutant Richie Stanaway believe further improvements over their Sandown performance are possible with strategy to become a strong focus for Sunday’s race.
Mark Winterbottom – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
“It’s good to go to Bathurst. It’s the one we look forward to all year so it’s nice to get there. Obviously we haven’t had the best lead up to it in terms of results but I think it all changes when you get up there and it goes back to the hard tyre and back to experience and all those sorts of things. I’m looking forward to it. We’ll have a good crack at it. We’re unveiling a new livery to celebrate 10 years of The Bottle-O in the sport which will be really cool. It’s pretty iconic too this year with 10 years of Brock, the Ford plant closing down on Friday afternoon, there’s lots of big things happening and it’s always special to win this race but to win it with all of those things combined would be huge. Hopefully we’re on the pace. She’s a long day and we’ll hopefully be there at the end.”
Dean Canto – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
“This will be my 18th Bathurst 1000. I started on the front row last year after Dave qualified first in the shootout so it was my first time starting on the front row there which was pretty cool and got to lead the first few laps which was awesome. I’m looking forward to a bit of redemption after Sandown. We did have the car pace at the end of the weekend but it didn’t work out the way we’d planned. We just need to qualify better. Bathurst is a bit of a different place. You don’t have to qualify as well to come up the front by the end as long as you have a fast car in the race. I’m sure Mark will do his best to qualify. Everyone wants to do the Shootout at Bathurst but following on from Bathurst all of our driver changes and everything went well. Mark and I drive the car fairly similarly so no problems in that respect as far as hopping in and doing what we have to do.”
Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
“I’m excited to go to Bathurst, it’s the biggest race of the year. It’ll be good to do the 1000 this year, obviously I didn’t get to do it last year when Chazzie had his crash but I’ve been there for a few years now and in the Dunlop Series as well but I’m just excited to get up there and have a crack at it.”
Jack Le Brocq – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
“I’m looking forwarded to it. It should be easier this time around ducking between the two cars being only hard tyre instead of the hard and soft tyre that we had to deal with at Sandown. It was okay. We’ve looking through some bits and pieces in the data from Sandown and looked at areas where I can improve driving in Cam’s car. I can’t wait to get there.”
Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
“I’m super pumped to get to Bathurst. Obviously after last year I’m going to try and redeem myself for this year. We’ve had pretty good top five form for the last couple of rounds so we want to try and keep that going at Bathurst, keep bringing this car along and keep trying to keep the momentum rolling. You never know. You’ve got to be there for the last 40 laps at Bathurst but this year I’d just like to try and get to the race. We’ll see how we go. It’s pretty exciting to be in Supercheap Auto colours this year obviously with Supercheap Auto backing the event so hopefully it’ll give us a bit of a leg up on the competition.”
Steve Owen – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
“I think we had a tough time at Sandown and still nearly finished on the podium so I think that’s a pretty good indication that the speed’s there but we just need a few things to go our way and we should be alright. Chaz showed at Clipsal this year that the crash didn’t affect him in any way, shape or form so I know his speed is still there and that he’s keener than anyone to make a mends for last year and hopefully we can do it. I’ve finished second at Bathurst a couple of times now so we’re not going there to finish second; we’re going there to win. I think we’ve got the right ingredients to get the job done.”
Chris Pither – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
“Pretty excited to be going to Bathurst. It’s a track I always enjoy. I had a good run there last year in the Dunlop Series so I’m excited to be going to The Mountain again. Obviously it’s the one race that everyone looks forward to and like everyone I can’t wait to get back there. Off the back of Sandown I think our result was a little bit disappointing but I’m confident that the Bathurst circuit will suit our strengths a lot better and I think we’re in pretty good shape so I’m looking forward to it.”
Richie Stanaway – #111 Super Black PRA Ford:
“It’s always been a dream of mine and I grew up with Bathurst. I’ve done a lot of endurance races this year and it seems a little crazy but Bathurst will be one of the shortest I’ve done this year. Bathurst is one of the greatest races in the world and when you look through the results list from last year and see the number of DNF’s you get a true indication of how daunting it can be. I can’t wait to get there. It’ll be a challenge and an honour to race there as well.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“We’re celebrating quite a few milestones at Bathurst this year; it’s going to be a big event. The last Falcon is going to roll off the line on Friday, we’re celebrating with The Bottle-O for their ten 10 year anniversary of Supercars involvement and of course the Brock anniversary so externally, there’s plenty going on. Internally, we’re just going to approach this race as we do with any other. Bathurst has been a good track for us over the past few years in terms of results so I am hopeful that we can continue that track record. I am confident we can put a good result on the board.”
Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Garry Jacobson now leads the Dunlop Series Championship charge with a 67 point lead over teammate Jack Le Brocq as they head to the series’ stand-alone event. Jacobson, who enjoyed a consistent weekend at Sandown will be looking to continue a strong run of form at the series’ mini-endurance race and is focused on a strong qualifying performance. Following an eventful Sandown outing, Le Brocq is confident that he and his GoGetta Racing FG X Ford are ready for the 41 lap race on Saturday after swapping chassis for the Bathurst race. Le Brocq will now race Cam Waters’ chassis from the start of 2016.
Jack Le Brocq – #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford:
“This race should be a good one for us hopefully. We’ve swapped chassis for Bathurst so hopefully everything has gone smoothly in the chassis swap and everything has transferred over nicely. The team out here does an awesome job so I am sure will be fine. I’m hoping for a good run. Hopefully we can get the championship lead back but basically I just want to go out there and score as many points as I can leading into Homebush.”
Garry Jacobson – #6 Challenger Valve PRA Ford:
“I’m excited to be leading the charge going into a round like Bathurst. It’s important to pick up some points as we get to the serious end of the year with only a couple of rounds to go in the championship. I’m basically just really excited to be racing there again and I’m looking forward to the challenge. The biggest thing in practice one and two and making sure I get comfortable in the car and chipping away at getting the car right for qualifying. Obviously in Dunlop Series racing the better you qualify, the better off you are at the start of the race and the less danger you are in if something happens again like it did at Sandown. It’s going to be about getting consistent results, qualifying well and staying out of trouble in the race.”
EVENT NAME: Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000
DATE: 6 – 9 October
LOCATION: Bathurst, New South Wales
EVENT NUMBER: 11 of 14
FORMAT: Thursday – 3 x 60-minute practice; Friday – 2 x 60 practice, 1 x 40min qualifying; Saturday – 1 x 60min practice, 1 x Top 10 Shootout; Sunday – 1 x 20min warm-up, 1 x 161-lap race
CIRCUIT: Mount Panorama
DESCRIPTION: The fastest of all Supercars circuits, with cars reaching close to 300kph along Conrod Straight, Bathurst has it all. From a tight and twisting climb to the top of the mountain, to a fast flip / flop ride down that rewards bravery behind the wheel. Regarded as the best circuit in Australia, Bathurst is without a doubt a complex engineering exercise considering two drivers need to be comfortable with the car set-up and the race lasts for more than six hours.
TRACK RECORD: 2m04.90s – Jamie Whincup (2015)
PRA BEST RESULT:
Qualifying: 1st – Mark Winterbottom, 2007/10; Will Davison, 2012, David Reynolds, 2015
Race: 1st – Mark Winterbottom/Steven Richards (2013), Chaz Mostert/Paul Morris (2014)
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 2248
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2241
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2091
4) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 1989
5) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 1908
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 1757
18) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 1033
20) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 993
1) Triple Eight: 4499
2) HRT: 3226
3) GRM: 2991
5) Prodrive Racing Australia: 2926