Prodrive Racing (Australia) returns to one of its most successful tracks for the upcoming Perth SuperSprint, hopeful of continuing their winning form at the West Australian event. On a high following recent success at Phillip Island, Mark Winterbottom is hopeful of further results at Barbagallo Raceway where he holds a total of seven race wins, the third most in the category. Race six winner Chaz Mostert is keeping a level head about his performance this season, insisting that anything can happen in the remaining 11 events this year. Highlighting the importance of making further gains to match the front-runners, Mostert says there is homework to be done to make the car quick around Barbagallo. Cameron Waters has placed further emphasis on tyre life at the high degradation track as the category returns to the new super soft tyre. After claiming his first Supercars pole position at this event in 2016, Waters believes that a good strategy will be key to claiming a race win. Jason Bright, who still holds the race lap record he set in 2004, will look to finish the weekend two strong results after an unlucky run in Tasmania and Perth.
Tim Edwards hopes the team can continue its run of pole position dominance at Barbagallo, with Mostert, Winterbottom and Waters holding the last five pole positions, having clean swept the poles in 2015 and 2016.
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
“Phillip Island was good for confidence. It’s nice to know that we’re travelling in the right direction. Perth for us is a very good event notoriously but it’s going to be tough. There’re quick cars this year but the strategy and using the tyre at the right time and all the little bits of experience that you can lean on will work quite well with Perth. It’s nice to go to a track that you have confidence at. Hopefully it’ll be good for us again.”
Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
“It’s cool to go back to Perth, I got my first pole there last year so hopefully we can go back there and get another one. So far this year the car’s gotten a lot better and I’m driving a lot better so hopefully if we put everything together we can. So far the year’s gone really well. Every time we’ve gotten in the car we’ve got a bit better, I’m driving a bit better, really just building momentum. We’re going back to the super softs for Perth so a different tyre but going to Perth it’s the hardest joint on tyres. We don’t have the loads but the degradation is going to be massive so going into the weekend it’ll be something we’re thinking about. If we can get a car that looks after its tyres I think we’ll go quite well.”
Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
“Perth’s been a good track for us in the past. We’ve had some good results there for PRA. It’s probably a bit different to how Phillip Island panned out. We don’t think that the tyres might be as explosive there. We’ll obviously get our heads down in the books, see what we learnt from Phillip Island, see what worked, what didn’t work and try and roll out a car that’s going to be pretty competitive there. The stuff we’ve been doing is definitely improving the car. We’ve changed our approach completely from what we’ve done in the last couple of years so we’ve just got to keep building on that.”
Jason Bright – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
“For us this weekend we’ll be aiming to get two good results on the board. Phillip Island didn’t go our way for a number of reasons so if we can get everything right it’ll be a bit of a boost for the MEGA team. There’s a lot at play at this event and a lot to think about but we’re making progress every time we race so it’ll be good to get there. The obvious focus is tyre life and I think we’ve made progress there so I think a good race is achievable.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“I think another pole position is within reach but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. The team did a fantastic job to give each of our drivers a car that looked after its tyres at Phillip Island and that’s exactly what we need for Barbagallo. The tracks are vastly different, with the loads of Phillip Island absent in Perth but degradation becomes another issue. We have some of the best minds in the category here at PRA and Perth has been a strong track for us in the past but there’s still a lot of hard work that needs to be done before practice on Friday.”
DATE: 5 – 7 May
LOCATION: Perth, Western Australia
EVENT NUMBER: 4 of 14
FORMAT: Friday – 2 x 45-minute practice; Saturday – 1 x 45 min practice, 1 x 15min qualifying, 1 x 50-lap race, Sunday – 1 x 20min qualifying, 1 x 83-lap race
LENGTH: 2.42-kilometres (clockwise)
DESCRIPTION: Barbagallo is more challenging than its short length suggests. The circuit is filled with long-radius corners which make it essential to have a well-balanced car. The final turn of the track at the end of the long back straight is the hardest braking point in the championship.
TRACK RECORD: 55.94s – Jason Bright, 2004 (race lap record)
PRA BEST RESULT AT PERTH: 1st (x7) – Mark Winterbottom (2008, 2012, 2015, 2016), Will Davison (2012), Chaz Mostert (2014)