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Thursday’s opening day of practice for the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 was a busy one for Prodrive Racing (Australia), as three 60-minute practice sessions split up a pleasant day at Mount Panorama. Prodrive Racing worked through programs on each of its four cars in preparations for Sunday’s 161-lap race, but achieved impressive pace in the event’s first day of on-track action.

Sporting the Supercheap Auto colours, Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen (#55 FG X) paced the opening session of the day, while Dean Canto (#5 The Bottle-O FG X) led the co-driver practice in the n#5 livery paying tribute to Allan Moffat’s legendary 1977 Bathurst win. Mark Winterbottom piloted the #5 car to lead the Prodrive Racing pack in the third practice of the day despite some handling concerns hampering his run. Sandown 500 winners Cam Waters and Richie Stanaway were sixth quick in the first two sessions as they dial in the setup on the #6 Monster Energy FG X, and Jason Bright and Garry Jacobson (#56 MEGA Fuels FG X) had a quietly impressive day, running 13th in the first session, but P10 and P8 in the subsequent two.

#5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford
Practice 1: 16th, 2m07.36s
Practice 2: 1st, 2m06.33s
Practice 3: 7th, 2m05.84s

Mark Winterbottom
“The car’s not flowing the way I want it to flow. Dean had a very good session, he did a good job. He was clear of the field, but you go into the next session and they up the ante with pace and they’re down in the low 2:05s. Our car isn’t capable of doing that at the moment, but we need more flow in the car because when you race all day you need to have a car that’s predictable and at the moment it’s not. We’ll keep tuning it, we’ve made progress, and we’ve got two more days until Sunday. We need to get it better for the race and I’m sure we will.”
Dean Canto
“It’s still early days, but it was good to move forward in that session, progress the car, make some changes that improved it. I was comfortable at the end there, put some new tyres on, but so did everybody else. The car still needs a little bit of work, Mark worked on a couple more things in the third session, but I’m comfortable. It’s my 19th time around here, so it’s not like I need to learn the track. Looking forward to it. Mark wasn’t happy with the car in the third session, but we’ll tune it up a bit more for tomorrow, and we’ll see if we can go quicker tomorrow.”

#6 Monster Energy Ford
Practice 1: 6th, 2m06.63s
Practice 2: 6th, 2m07.31s
Practice 3: 15th, 2m06.24s

Cameron Waters
“We were not actually too bad all day, which was nice. We weren’t really that happy with the car and we were in the top ten for most of it; I was sixth, Richie was sixth, and that last session we probably should have finished sixth. I just made a little mistake in the last corner, but yeah, we can still make the car a lot better, and there’s a lot more in it, which is positive.”
Richie Stanaway
“Decent day overall. We ran near the front in the first two sessions and Cam couldn’t get a good lap in at the end otherwise we probably would have been up there again, so not much to complain about. The car isn’t perfect, but we weren’t way off the mark, so it’s something we can work with. We’ll look over the data and try to make the car better for qualifying tomorrow.”

#55 Supercheap Auto Ford
Practice 1: 1st, 2m06.30s
Practice 2: 2nd, 2m07.31s
Practice 3: 21st, 2m06.50s

Chaz Mostert
“Tough last practice for us. We struggled a bit on used tyres, something with that set wasn’t quite right, so we’ll fix it up for tomorrow. I’m a bit disappointed. I really wanted to leave today with a good, positive vibe for tomorrow, but it’s a bit of an unknown now, so we’ll see how we go tomorrow.”
Steve Owen
“No one’s ever handed out trophies on Thursday afternoon around here, so you don’t need to worry where you are on the time sheet, but we know the car is good. Chaz didn’t get his run in because there were kangaroos on the track at the end, but I’m comfortable and he’s pretty comfortable, so that’s the main thing.”

#56 MEGA Fuels Ford
Practice 1: 13th, 2m07.09s
Practice 2: 10th, 2m07.48s
Practice 3: 8th, 2m05.88s

Jason Bright
“I’m happy we were in the top ten most of the day, so I felt like we had a really good day. I thought we made good progress through the day. We got on top of some of the issues we were having in Practice 1, and made the car a lot better for Practice 3. There’s probably still a couple other things we can do to get a little bit better, but so far so good.”
Garry Jacobson
“It’s been pretty good. On the old tyre we were really competitive, like, top five. I settled in well, and I was surprised actually. I didn’t do the Super2 session like I usually do, so I’ve just been focusing on driving Jason’s car, but settled in pretty well. The new tyre, I probably missed a bit under braking, I started getting a long pedal. I lost a bit of confidence there, but that’s something I’ll get used to. I think so far, my feedback seems to have helped Jason in his sessions, he went out and went a lot quicker in the third practice. Being in different conditions in our sessions, to be in the top ten is a pretty good start for Bathurst. It’s a long weekend, but if we can consistently be in that top ten, then I’m pretty stoked.”

Tim Edwards, Team Principal
“It’s only the first day, so the time sheets aren’t all that important, but it was a pretty solid day for us. All of our cars were fairly quick all day, and I think they all have more time to gain, which is positive. The team will make adjustments overnight, and we’ll see if we can’t improve upon those times tomorrow.”


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