PRODRIVE RACING – SANDOWN 500 FRIDAY WRAP
Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s first day on track at the Sandown 500 was far from dull, as changing conditions throughout the day kept the team hard at work; but over three Supercars sessions on Friday, PRA cars were represented in the top five of each, giving the team confidence heading into Saturday’s qualifying.
Dean Canto (#5 The Bottle-O Ford) posted the fastest lap of the day for the team, running second-quickest in the dry first practice reserved for co-drivers only; main game driver of the #5 FG X, Mark Winterbottom, managed 15th in the second practice.
Chaz Mostert (#55 Supercheap Auto Ford) flew the flag for the main game drivers in a rain-plagued Practice 2 running third, and his co-driver Steve Owen led the team in Practice 3 – also in the wet – running fourth-quickest in the co-driver session.
Cameron Waters (#6 Monster Energy Ford) ran 10th in Practice 2, while his co-driver Richie Stanaway again shined in the wet, posting the seventh-fastest lap in Practice 3.
Jason Bright (#56 MEGA Bulk Fuels Ford) was 24th in the second practice, while his co-driver Garry Jacobson was 11th in Practice 3 while juggling his co-driver duties along with Dunlop Super2 responsibilities this weekend. Though soggy, the team worked through a challenging day to consistently sit near the top of the time sheets, and with conditions expecting to be drier throughout the weekend, will look to put all four Prodrive Racing entries near the front on Saturday.
Dean Canto – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 2nd – 1m09.64s
Practice 3: 26th – 1m24.71s
Mark Winterbottom – #5 The Bottle-O PRA Ford:
Practice 2: 15th – 1m22.55s
“It was okay, it’s just high risk, that session. Our car probably wasn’t as good as it should have been in the wet, just struggled for a bit of grip. But every bit that gets damaged in that practice session you don’t get to use in the race, so it was just about fixing the balance. The lap times will come, also tyre quality, stuff like that so it wasn’t too bad. Clean run, Dean looked pretty quick in the dry, and it shouldn’t rain anymore this weekend, hopefully, and we’ll stick to dry running. A bit of a nothing session; nothing to prove, lots to lose. Fortunately we didn’t lose anything and we’ll move on to tomorrow.”
Richie Stanaway – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford
Practice 1: 20th – 1m10.3203s
Practice 3: 7th – 1m21.58s
Cameron Waters – #6 Monster Energy PRA Ford:
Practice 2: 10th – 1m21.92s
“The car was fairly good. We rolled out and didn’t really change the car too much. I wasn’t on the best set of tyres either, so when we were in sync with everybody else I think we were second or third quickest, which was good. Didn’t really get another run at the end, but relatively happy with the Monster Energy car. It’s really mixed conditions, so it’s a bit hard to know where you are, but we were at the front, so that’s good.”
Steve Owen – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 18th – 1m10.23s
Practice 3: 4th – 1m21.49s
Chaz Mostert – #55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford:
Practice 2: 1st – 3rd – 1m20.88s
“Both my run and Steve’s last run we were in the top five, so we’re reasonably happy with the car in the wet. We’ll make some little changes to tidy it up a little bit, but we’ll go through the data tonight and see what we can do to help it. But overall I think the car feels pretty good in the wet, so fingers crossed if it feels good in the wet hopefully it can feel good in the dry, and if it dries out tomorrow, then we’ve got a car that’s up at the pointy end, but we’ll just see what happens.”
Garry Jacobson – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 16th – 1m10.16s
Practice 3: 11th – 1m22.14s
Jason Bright – #56 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Practice 2: 24th – 1m23.70s
“The first set of tyres weren’t that good, so we sort of struggled, made a change which didn’t really help. We put another set of tyres on at the end but didn’t get back out because of a red flag, but the other team cars look pretty strong, so we’ll work with them, and I don’t think we’ll be too bad.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“An interesting day to say the least. The changing conditions made it tough on our crew, but fortunately at least one of our cars was at the sharp end in wet and dry conditions. Certainly a mixed bag of a day for several reasons, but the boys played well to the conditions, and we’ll look to be up front again tomorrow.”
DUNLOP SUPER2 SERIES
Running double duty this weekend has not seemed to slow Garry Jacobson down. Along with participating in two Supercars practice sessions as co-driver to Jason Bright, Jacobson took the MEGA Bulk Fuels FG X to the top of the time sheets in both Dunlop Super2 sessions on Friday, while team-mate Josh Kean improved from 12th in the morning session to second-quickest in the wet afternoon session in the Wynns Racing PRA Ford. With strength in both dry and wet conditions, the Prodrive Racing duo are optimistic of their prospects for the remainder of the weekend.
Garry Jacobson – #1 MEGA Bulk Fuels PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 1st – 1m10.02s
Practice 2: 1st – 1m20.45s
“We’ve been very competitive, Prodrive Racing and myself. We’re rolling out on Fridays with a car setup that we feel is where it needs to be, and hit the track straight away. The dry weather was a challenge because we knew we had rain coming in later, and we decided to cash in on our tyre bank and use it all while we could. We probably have a little more tuning to do with the green tyre; a bit more speed to come out of it yet, so P1 was a great bonus. Practice 2, we found that tyre temp was the most important thing, regardless of any setup changes, so we just tried to keep our pit stop time at a minimum, and it worked out pretty well. To have good speed in the wet weather and the dry suggests that whatever comes our way Saturday and Sunday we’ll be in a really competitive position to get some good results.”
Josh Kean – #5 Wynns Racing PRA Ford:
Practice 1: 12th – 1m10.86s
Practice 2: 2nd – 1m20.52s
“Pretty good day. I was pretty happy with the car in the first session. Obviously we didn’t run green tyres, so we didn’t get to jump to the top in the first one, but we were pretty happy with the car in that one. And that second one, in the wet, the Wynns Racing Ford was good. We drove it well, and managed P2 to Garry, and we’re very happy with the day.”