Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Chaz Mostert and Steve Owen have led the charge for the PRA crew in practice at Sandown Raceway, setting the third-fastest time overall.
Mostert impressed early in the day after debuting his car’s 2002 Supercheap Auto retro livery on-track, finishing second in the times before Owen completed the final co-driver only practice in third.
Richie Stanaway took the opportunity to acclimatise to running at the Sandown track in a Supercar, citing noticeable differences in grip compared to the team’s Winton test track.
Super Black Racing primary driver Chris Pither had a solid run in the first session, finishing 14th before Stanaway closed out the day in 18th.
Despite the final position, Stanaway managed to run in the top 10 during the day’s final hit-out.
The Bottle-O Racing duo Mark Winterbottom and Dean Canto endured an up and down day on track, finishing 23rd, fourth, and 20th across the three sessions.
Canto, who spent the most time in the car, believes the team needs to work on setup to make the most of qualifying tomorrow.
Cameron Waters was pleased with the Monster Energy racer in the day’s opening session, posting the 12th fastest time before handing the reigns to co-driver Jack Le Brocq, who spent the day further understanding the characteristics of the soft tyre.
Mark Winterbottom – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford: 23rd – 1m09.95s
“Not the most productive day. It’s always hard because you go out in the morning, run through a few formalities and pretty well don’t get in the car until tomorrow so we’re both complaining about the same things. Dean is not 100 per cent comfortable in the car which we need to work on because you know he can drive and you know his ability so we’ve just got to get the car better, turn up tomorrow and go again. It’s good, next door is quite quick so we can look at their car and see what it’s got. We definitely need to do a little bit of work but when you’re all on the same tyre and same fuel loads and everything it’ll make a bit more sense.”
Dean Canto – #1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford: 20th – 1m09.87s
“Obviously Frosty went out in his first practice session, the tyres were pretty average but in the first co-driver session I ended up in p4 I think, not really happy with the car but obviously everyone was having the same sort of issues. In the second co-driver session we made some changes but, I’ll have to look through the data I wasn’t overly happy with the way I drove but the car’s not 100 per cent there so we’ll assess and have a look at the other car seeing as they seemed to make good gains and we’ll come back out stronger tomorrow.”
Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford: 12th – 1m09.53s
“I think I rolled out and was fairly happy with the car. I thought I could improve it a little bit but it wasn’t too far away and finished up 12th I think. I didn’t start off too bad and handed the reigns to Jack. He did a heap of miles today but kind of struggled a little bit in the sessions but we’ll just go through the data and work it out for tomorrow.”
Jack Le Brocq – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford: 24th – 1m09.98s
“Struggled a bit out there just gelling with the car and a few things I’m not comfortable with. Basically just not getting the speed out of it that we need to so we’ll sit down tonight with the engineers and everything and have a look at it and see where I’m going wrong and see if there’s something we can do with the car to help that or find out what it is because we’re a long way back from where we should be.”
Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford: 2nd – 1m09.20s
“Overall it was a pretty good day I think. Our car felt pretty good out of the gates. I’ll be interested to see what Steve Owen thinks now after him obviously having done most of the running today and we’ll see what the data is saying too. Overall I’m pretty happy. We ran pretty heavy today just to try and simulate race stuff instead of qualifying stuff so fingers crossed we can pull some weight out and go faster again and we’ll see what we can do come tomorrow.”
Steve Owen – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford: 3rd – 1m09.24s
“The time today was definitely positive; we were just working away on a few things. I actually wasn’t 100 per cent happy with the car so to be so close to the fastest time is a pretty good sign for race day.”
Chris Pither – #111 Super Black PRA Ford: 14th – 1m09.56s
“Yeah I was fairly pleased with 14th in the first session. The Super Black Racing Ice Break Ford rolled out quite well and I was pretty comfortable in the car but today was a lot about getting Richie comfortable in the car. I think we’re headed in the right direction. Richie made some good gains towards the end of the session so I think when we bolt some good tyres on tomorrow we should be in a good position.”
Richie Stanaway – #111 Super Black PRA Ford: 18th – 1m09.75s
“The first session was tricky because I haven’t driven a Supercar at this track before. I just had to kind of learn the ropes a bit and the grip level is way different to Winton where I have done most of my running so I sort of had to recalibrate for the grip level here and then running some fresher tyres in my second practice so the third session, I was able to make some good gains. Just sort of getting more comfortable with it and keep improving and obviously Chris will do the qualifying tomorrow and I’ve just got to focus on trying to have a good co-driver race and hopefully we can start the race from a good spot.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“There will be a bit to look at in the data tonight. Chaz and Steve had a good day but in the other garage we’re pretty much on the other end of the spectrum so we’ll look at the car 55 data and see what we can do to adapt and match them up. Tyres again played a large part in running today so tomorrow when we get to bolt on the greens hopefully it will be a bit of a different story.”
Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Jack Le Brocq has set a brand new Dunlop Series practice lap record in day one at the Sandown 500, eclipsing the previous record, held since 2010 by Supercheap Auto co-driver Steve Owen. The GoGetta Racing crew finished second in the day’s opening practice session despite running with an unwanted setup direction. Garry Jacobson also enjoyed a consistent day on track, running at the top of the field for most of the day before finishing seventh.
Jack Le Brocq – #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford: 1st – 1m09.77s
“Yeah it was good to get the new lap record. I didn’t even realise until Steve (Owen) came up to me and told me I took it off him so that was cool but yeah the car was really good. The GoGetta car felt really good when we bolted the green tyres on and on the old tyres we had a really good margin there as well. I’m looking forward to it. We should have a good quali car and a good race car which is what we need.”
Garry Jacobson – #6 Challenger Valve PRA Ford: 7th – 1m10.33s
“Yeah to be honest I’m not quite happy with the car. We finished the day in an okay position but we need to go back and have a look at the data I think and see what we can do to get a bit further up the order. We had a good amount of time on track to try a few things. We made some improvements in the second session but I think I still need to work on stringing a good lap together.”
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2109
2) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 1972
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 1911
4) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 1836
5) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 1749
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 1535
19) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 993
20) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 925
1) Triple Eight: 4091
2) Prodrive Racing: 2854
3) HRT: 2782